CLEARWATER, Fla. - One of two Clearwater cyclists struck by a hit-and-run driver early Monday morning on the Memorial Causeway died from his injuries.
Police say 25-year-old Robert W. Lemon succumbed late Monday night.
The other victim, 27-year-old Hillary C. Michalak, remains in a hospital in critical condition.
The pair, who both lived in Largo, were found in a grassy area just off the roadway. They were about 50 feet apart. Police do not know how long they were there before being discovered.
Police are asking for your help in finding the driver.
"We're very saddened by all of this and hope someone who witnessed this accident will come forward and speak up," said Sherry Fieux.
Fieux works with Michalak, a youth minister at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Seminole. She also knows Hillary's friend, Rob, who manages a local bike shop.
"They're two fantastic people."
And according to friends and neighbors, it isn't uncommon to see the two practicing on their tandem bike.
"He rode his bike every day, he had all the gear, the whole get-up," said Chris Privitera.
But this morning, the couple's leisurely Labor Day ride turned into anything but. A driver spotted handlebars in the eastbound curb of the Memorial Causeway, then, the rest of the tandem bicycle.
"The bicycle was found in the bike lane, the two individuals in a grassy area fifty feet apart, no vehicle involved that stopped," said Joelle Castelli, City of Clearwater.
With no witnesses, no vehicle description, not even a paint chip, Clearwater Police said finding the driver responsible will be difficult.
Friends say they will continue to pray for Hillary and Rob, and they have a message for that driver.
"Please come forward. It would really help the situation. Not just for Hillary and Rob, but for them," Fieux said.
If you have any information in this case you're asked to call Clearwater Police at (727) 562-4242.
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