ORLANDO, Fla. - A bicyclist was hit and killed by a driver who then fled the crash scene early Friday morning, authorities said.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said they found a 56-year-old man and his bike lying in the middle of Taft-Vineland Road not far from South Orange Avenue around 7:45 a.m. They said a driver hit the man, and then took off.
"We do believe he was on his way to work and may not have had his normal vehicle available to him, and that's why he was on a bicycle, trying to get to work," said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes. "When you're in a commercial motor vehicle you take up most of the lane, so for anybody walking or riding a bike on this road, it doesn't give much room for error.
Troopers said they were able to obtain surveillance video that captured a gas tanker that they believe hit the man.
"There is grainy, dark video of a tanker, but nothing that identifies what company it's from," said Montes.
Without witnesses, troopers said solving a hit-and-run crash is difficult because even if a vehicle is found, proving who was behind the wheel can be almost impossible.
Troopers said they have investigated at least three fatal hit-and-run crashed in the same area since January of last year, including one that killed Laura Miller, a mother who was hit while walking home. None of those cases have been solved.
"In this area, this is a very industrial area, hundreds of vehicles come through this area daily," said Montes.
Investigators are asking truck drivers and their companies to take a look at their fleets, and to see just where their trucks were at the time of the accident Friday.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd helped lead the charge at the state capitol this year to fight for stiffer penalties against hit-and-run drivers.
The legislature passed a law to increase the minimum sentence to four years in prison if someone is convicted of leaving after hitting and killing someone.
MetroPlan Orlando said troopers work a fatal hit-and-run crash every 21 days in Orange, Seminole or Osceola counties.