Bicyclist, 51, dies in hit-and-run crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal hit-and-run on the Westside after a bicyclist was struck and killed early Tuesday morning.

Police said the bicyclist, 51-year-old Roy Lee McGrath, was traveling southbound on Cassat Avenue at Fremont Street, just west of Blanding Boulevard, at about 2:30 a.m. when a vehicle struck McGrath.

Officers found McGrath unresponsive in the road and say he died at the scene.

Channel 4 spoke with McGrath's father who said McGrath served in the Navy for 21 years and had been stationed here in Jacksonville when he retired in 2004. He said McGrath also served in the first Gulf War.

His father also said McGrath loved to ride his bike, and this wasn't the first time he'd been hit.

"There was two times before. The first time was quite a serious one a couple years ago when he was in the hospital for several weeks," said McGrath's father. "He had fluid in the lungs and so on, and just a couple of weeks ago, he'd been hit as well by a car."

McGrath's close friend James Tunsil was heartbroken to learn of the accident.

"He was a gentle man who loved to have fun and joke around and we were real friends," said Tunsil. "He really trusted me a lot and we got along well."

Police said the driver fled the scene of the accident.

"At this time, we have no verified suspect or suspect vehicle information," said Sgt. C. J. Dyal.

"Something had to had to be going on for someone to hit someone and not care," resident Jessica Wright said.

Anyone with any information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

Last year, there were seven fatal crashes involving bicyclists in Jacksonville, according to the Sheriff's Office.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.