Bicyclist killed after hit-and-run, driver fled

- Polk County deputies are searching for a hit-and-run driver they say fatally struck a bicyclist on Monday morning with his car.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Charles Hudson, Jr., 66, was biking along Kokomo Road in Haines City when he was hit by a car that was possibly weaving in the westbound lanes.

The car fled and the driver abandoned the car off of Detour Road and fled on foot. Deputies say the suspect is Darrell Coleman, Jr., 26, of Lake Hamilton.

Deputies located the suspect's car, but they are still searching for Coleman, who may be somewhere in Lake Hamilton.

Hudson was a volunteer at the Polk County Sheriff's Office, deputies said.

He lived in the Solivita community in Poinciana where he was a part of a volunteer citizen patrol.

"He'd never ride in the car he never took the car always took the bike," said the Citizen Assisted Patrol (CAP) coordinator Lynn Scherr.

Over the years, Hudson would log hundreds of hours on his patrol.

The 66 year old's neighborhood watch came to an end Monday morning when was struck on his bike.
He was about 15 miles from home on Kokomo Road in Haines city.

Sherr says it was likely an exercise ride; he'd normally do 35 miles a day.

"This is a huge loss, huge unbelievable loss," Scherr said.

"Charles was a beloved member of the Solivita CAP group, and a devoted volunteer at our agency. He told us that one of his greatest strengths was 'being in great shape for someone my age.' Tragically, he was killed while out doing something he loved - bicycling. We hope to have the person responsible for his death in jail before the day's end. We won't stop until we find him," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Coleman currently has three warrants for his arrest, leaving the scene of a crash involving death, driving with a revoked license involving death and trespassing after abandoning his car in someone's yard.

Anyone who knows where the suspect is should call the Sheriff’s Office at (863) 298-6200 or dial 911.


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