Plant City family begs for driver to come forward after deadly hit-and-run

- Plant City police are searching for a driver involved in a deadly hit-and-run that killed a 21-year-old man.

Police said the crash occurred Sunday night before 11 p.m. The victim, Miguel Hernandez, Jr., and two other Hispanic men, were walking eastbound on State Road 574 after leaving Fuego Bar & Grille. Police said it’s unclear whether the three men were walking on the roadway shoulder or on the sidewalk.

As they were walking, all three were hit by a vehicle, which continued driving away after the crash, police said. Hernandez died from his injuries at the crash scene, and the other two men had non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators said the suspect vehicle is possibly a General Motors SUV, in the 2007-2014 model year range. The vehicle model could be a Cadillac Escalade SUV, A Chevrolet Tahoe or a GMC Yukon, and is pearl metallic white in color. The damaged areas could include the side rear-view mirror and the headlights. Police said this is all from preliminary evidence. 

“I don’t have any doubt in my mind -- nor does my investigator -- that this person didn’t know that they struck something,” explained Sgt. Alfred Van Duyne with the Plant City Police Department, “if not a person, and let alone three people. It’s unintelligible to me why someone would not stop, and we definitely want to bring that person to justice. We want to get resolve for the family.”

Relatives of Hernandez said the young men were turned away by restaurant employees for not wearing the appropriate dress attire. There was a scheduled concert at the venue. 

“Miguel was a young man.,” explained Nicolas Saldivar, an uncle of Hernandez. “He was a really good guy. We really want to find out who did this and what happened, just to feel at ease in our hearts. We are trying to get to the bottom of this.”

Family members are pleading for the driver to come forward.

“(Miguel) is a very hardworker, very polite, very well-mannered. He has his family always behind him, telling him to do good things in life. We have his mom at home right now grieving,” Saldivar explained. “Please come forward. Let someone know. Turn yourself in.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200.

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