Police investigate 2 hit-and-runs involving bicyclists

- Investigators in Clearwater are looking for the drivers who hit two different bicyclists hours apart, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition.

The first crash happened on Cleveland Street, near Fredrica Avenue at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Clearwater Police said a dark pickup truck hit a bicyclist and sped off. Witnesses told FOX 13 the first officer was there in less than a minute.

"When I came outside there's a bicycle in the middle of the street with a man that was not moving. There was a police officer here within about 30 seconds," said Donovan Jester, who is staying at a motel near the accident scene. "Seeing someone in distress like that and just knowing that they're doing everything that they can...you just wish well for him, that he survives."

Officers said the victim is being treated at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and, as of Wednesday afternoon, was doing better but still critical.

Rob Shaw, a spokesperson for Clearwater Police, said the vehicle involved is believed to be a dark pickup truck.

"It's incredibly frustrating for our investigators to have to deal with situations like this," Shaw said. "It seems that you have drivers who are cold and callous and don't have any appreciation or value for human life whatsoever. For somebody to strike a bicyclist and then just flee the scene is unfathomable."

Early Thursday morning, another bicyclist -- identified as Robert Shepherd, 62 -- was riding down Ulmerton Road when he was hit by a driver who didn't stop. Shepherd died at the scene.

"It's sad that you can't stand up and just say, 'hey, it was an accident.' You don't have to drive away," said Myron Huff, who lives along Ulmerton Road. "I don't care if you're intoxicated or whatever, you just don't have to drive away. Stick around and call for help."

Florida Highway Patrol recovered a piece of the side view mirror. Troopers believe the car involved was either a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix or Corolla.

The vehicles involved in both crashes would likely have noticeable damage. Anyone with information should call authorities.

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