Tampa man killed in hit-and-run two days before his birthday

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As friends filled his Facebook page with birthday wishes Monday, Tampa police were notifying Jason Anthony Daniels' family a hit and run driver had taken his life.

Daniels, who would have turned 39 on Monday, was struck early Saturday morning, just before 2 a.m., in the 3600 block of E. Columbus Drive.

A Tampa police officer found Daniels lying in the middle of the road, just west of the railroad tracks. He was still breathing, but unresponsive. 

An ambulance carried him to the hospital where he later died.

Nearby, detectives found some of his personal belongings and a skateboard.

On Monday afternoon, the Tampa Police Department notified his next of kin, but the news of his death had not reached many of his Facebook friends, who posted dozens of birthday wishes for Daniels.  

Amid the well-wishes, one post expressed concern. Daniels' friend Jeni Houze asked if anyone had heard from their friend over the past few days. 

“I am sick with worry,” she said. “This is not like him and I can’t sleep, exhausted with worry.”

Monday evening, as word began to spread about Daniels’ death, the messages from his Facebook friends became somber. His friends began to post photos and share their memories of Daniels. 

Many expressed anger over how he died and their hope that the driver who left him to die on the road would soon be caught.

On Saturday, Tampa police posted a video on Facebook showing a car that may have been involved in the hit-and-run. The video appears to be from a surveillance camera inside a garage, and most of the view is obstructed by a large truck.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, Tampa police say no arrests have been made.