Ernest Bagnoli of Oakland Park, Florida was injured in a hit-and run accident Thursday, news sources report. Bagnoli, 55, sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Broward Health Medical Center for treatment. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident. So far, the hit-and-run driver has not been arrested or charged. The Broward County Crime Stoppers are offering a $3,000 reward to anyone who provides information that results in the arrest of the fleeing driver. It is unclear whether Bagnoli will file for damages if the driver is caught.
Reports say the accident happened around 6:00 Thursday morning near the intersection of Dixie Highway and Prospect Road in Oakland Park. Bagnoli was northbound on Dixie aboard his 2008 Honda Scooter at the time. While the details of what happened next are still unknown, reports say a truck collided with Bagnoli near the intersection of Prospect Road, then promptly fled the scene.
Bagnoli was taken to the Broward Health Medical Center with injuries that were deemed non-lethal. Meanwhile, investigators canvassed the scene of the crash. Initial reports from people who observed the accident indicated that the hit-and-run vehicle was a dark-colored sedan. However, the investigators recovered debris at the scene that indicate the hit-and-run vehicle was a dark-colored Ford pickup rather than a sedan. It is not yet known whether police have any leads.
Hit-and-run crashes are rampant throughout South Florida and many of the U.S.’s most populated areas. In many cases, drivers flee because they do not have valid licenses. A study by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety revealed that 21% of all the deadly crashes between 1993 and 1999 involved drivers who did not have valid licenses to drive. Leaving the scene is not only against the law, it oftentimes leaves the victim or victims without aid. If no one is nearby to report the accident, the victim could die when they might have otherwise lived.
Two Fort Pierce residents were killed earlier this week in a hit-and-run crash, sources report. The two victims, who have not yet been identified to the public, were reportedly changing a flat tire when they were struck by a semi-truck. Police have opened an investigation but have not yet been able to track down and identify the hit-and-run driver. Charges are likely pending.
According to reports, the incident occurred at about 8 p.m. on Monday along a stretch of the Florida Turnpike. The sun had recently set when the two victims, who were traveling together, experienced a flat tire. The make and model of the vehicle itself is unknown. Sources say the pair pulled to the side of the turnpike to change the tire.
A semi-truck, described in reports as a Peterbilt tractor with a flatbed in tow, was apparently driving by when it hit the two victims. The driver then fled the scene, sources allege. Sadly, the impact left the victims dead at the scene. Police are now searching for the driver.