Family begs for answers after Pasco County man left in unconscious state after Lutz hit-and-run crash
LUTZ, Fla. - A Pasco County father training for a triathlon was critically injured after a driver hit him while riding his bicycle. Florida Highway Patrol said the driver left the scene of the crash, and the man's family is begging for the person responsible to own up to it.
Adam Kaplan, 31, was on an early morning training ride for his first triathlon on Saturday, March 19. His sister Madyson Pate said he was wearing reflective gear, a helmet, and flashing lights. Just after 5 a.m., FHP said a vehicle driving south on Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz, near US 41 connect, hit Kaplan.
The driver took off, leaving him with critical injuries. A motorcyclist hit Kaplan's bike in the road before spotting the bicyclist and calling for help.
RELATED: FHP: Hit-and-run driver seriously injures Pasco County bicyclist
"It has left him in an unconscious state, so he's not able to talk, he's not able to walk, he's definitely in the long-haul recovery process," Pate said.
A month after the hit-and-run crash, Kaplan's family still has no answers without witnesses, helpful surveillance or a vehicle description.
"How can somebody just leave someone there not knowing what exactly happened?" asked Pate.
His family is pleading for the driver to come forward for Kaplan's sake.
"Our main goal is not to ruin this person's life, our main goal is to help my brother be able to rehabilitate," Pate said. "If they had any insurance or anything, we would want to be able to get more funds to keep him in this long-term facility that we're very satisfied with. We want to keep him there in order to rehabilitate him back to that conscious state."
Kaplan has a wife and 6-year-old son who miss him dearly. As they stay by his side, his family is clinging to their faith, praying for good news. They're also grateful for all the prayers and support they've gotten through online donations.
"We miss him very much," Pate said. "He was the life of the party, he was the jokester, the one that was kind of the glue to the family. He was my older brother's best friend, my dad's best friend."
With Easter coming up, this weekend is especially difficult for Kaplan's family because it's something they always celebrate together.
If you know anything about the crash, perhaps noticed a vehicle with front end damage that wasn't there before on the morning of March 19, call the Florida Highway Patrol at *FHP or Crime Stoppers at **TIPS.