JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A hit-and-run crash at Main and East 27th streets sent a motorcyclist to the hospital with life-threatening injuries Tuesday afternoon.
About 4:40 p.m. Tuesday, the motorcyclist was traveling northbound on Main Street and a green Jeep Cherokee was traveling southbound on Main Street. The Jeep attempted to turn left onto East 27th Street and failed to see the approaching motorcycle, police said.
The motorcycle struck the Jeep in the right passenger side door. Witnesses said the driver of the Jeep stopped in a nearby parking lot and then continued driving down East 27th Street, fleeing the scene.
Witnesses told News4Jax that the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, but when he hit the Jeep he went airborne and then slid across the road. They said officers responded quickly and performed CPR on the motorcyclist until he was transported to the hospital.
"My friends saw it, and they were quite upset about it, because they were right behind it. They said the man flew in the air almost as high as the traffic light, and when he came down he hit the truck ... and then he hit the ground, and he wasn't moving," Sharol Haire said. "Very disheartening. Poor man, and the man that hit him pulled into the parking lot here for a minute, and then left. ... He saw the man laying there and then left. I guess he freaked. I would. But I sure wouldn't leave."
Dawit Weldemaira, who works near where the accident happened, said he was shaken by the wreck and feels for the motorcyclist's family and friends.
"I just was thinking about him all day," Weldemaira said.
The motorcyclist's family members told News4Jax that they were too distraught for an on-camera interview, but they asked for the community's prayers.
The Jeep, described as an older model Jeep Grand Cherokee, was found later by police, but the driver has not been located. Police have not said where the Jeep was found.
All lanes at East 27th and Main streets and East 28th and Main streets, just south of Jackson High School, were closed for several hours after the crash.
The JSO Traffic Homicide Unit was checking with businesses in the area for surveillance video.
Witnesses told police the motorcyclist had a green light, and the Jeep failed to yield to oncoming traffic.