Driver in deadly hit-and-run crash flees on foot

- Tampa police are searching for the driver responsible for a hit-and-run crash that killed a motorcyclist and shut down part of Waters Avenue Monday morning.

According to the Tampa Police Department, the crash involved a motorcycle and a red pick-up truck.  The driver of the motorcycle was transported to the hospital, where he passed away.

The driver of the truck ran away on foot, leaving the vehicle at the scene of the crash near the intersection of W. Waters Avenue and N. Boulevard.

"I heard a big crash and I ran to the scene and the guy was laying in the road and I [saw] the guy running behind the buildings," said James Williams, who lives nearby. "I wanted to help but I said, 'Don't touch the guy' because when somebody's hit like that you can't move them."

Police identified the motorcyclist as Jose Ruben McElla, 29. Several Facebook tributes started popping up hours after the accident.

"His family and friends came down and they was crying. It was kind of sad," Williams said, adding he can't believe someone would leave the scene of such a horrible crash. "I think that's really sick. That's a sick individual and I think he should get the maximum that the law allows because he really hurt that guy."

Police told FOX 13 they are working on some good leads because the pickup truck was left at the scene.

"At this point clearly we have the truck," said Tampa police spokesperson Steve Hegarty. "We'll find out who owns the truck and we need to determine who was driving the truck at that time."

Hegarty said detectives are looking at surveillance video from the area to determine who was driving.

Traffic was detoured until detectives complete their investigation and drivers were asked to avoid  the area between N. Boulevard and El Portal on W. Waters Ave.

Anyone who may have information as to the identity of the driver should call the Tampa Police  Department at 813-231-6130.

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