St. Augustine officer wants answers after father's hit-and-run scooter death

Crash victim James Canning was 64

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The family of James Canning, a 64-year-old man killed Saturday morning in a hit-and-run crash, is desperate for answers.

James Canning died when a car hit him from behind as he rode on his scooter, the Florida Highway Patrol said. A second vehicle then ran him over, troopers added.

Now, James Canning’s son, among other relatives, is devastated -- just knowing that whoever is responsible hasn't yet come forward.

“We were expecting him to come home that day from work, because he loved hanging out with the kids and stuff,” said Sean Canning, James’ son and a police officer for the St. Augustine Police Department.

Sean Canning added that his father always wore a helmet and a safety vest while riding his scooter, and there’s no way that someone simply didn't see him. 

The crash took place on Normandy Boulevard, on Jacksonville’s Westside.

Sean Canning said his father was on his way to work, but had plans to attend his nephew’s birthday party later that afternoon.

But troopers said a car rear-ended James Canning, throwing him off the scooter. Witnesses told investigators that a second driver then ran over him with a truck. That driver stopped for a moment and then drove off, according to troopers.

Investigators don’t have much of a physical description of the second driver, only saying the man had a short hair and a beard. Troopers described the truck involved as a brown Chevrolet Z71 that was lifted with all-terrain tires.

“My big thing is, the smallest thing that people are like, ‘No, that’s probably got nothing to do with it’ -- if it might, (they should) call and tell (the) FHP anyway, because they could maybe use that to put something together,” Sean Canning said.

James Canning will be remembered as someone who was always there for his family.

“He was always joyful and always loved his family,” his son said. “He was all about his family.”

One of James Canning’s proudest moments, Sean Canning said, was when Sean became an officer.

The officer’s goal now is to make sure the person responsible for his father’s death is held accountable.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Highway Patrol.

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