PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - In a second incident this week, a tractor trailer truck driver has hit someone on side of the roadway and just kept driving. Authorities say the hit and run crashes should serve as a warning to all drivers to be more responsible and alert on the roads.
After a quick break, commercial truck driver Ronaldo Gonzalez prepares to get back on the road.
"You keep an out for what's going on way out front," he said before he left the service plaza on the Florida Turnpike in suburban Lake Worth.
Gonzalez is hauling paint supplies from Tampa to Hollywood. He understands that the journey to his destination can turn dangerous - even deadly - very quickly. "You don't want to hit anything because that's your license," he said. "It's your bread and butter."
On Monday, a deaf couple was struck and killed by a semi truck as they were changing a tire on the side of the Florida Turnpike near Fort Pierce. Investigators say the driver, Robert Bates, did not stop. Several days passed before he was even located for police questioning.
A similar incident occurred on Friday in Broward County on the Sawgrass Expressway just north of Sample Road. Authorities said he driver of a white semi-truck hit a man in the roadway and just kept going.
At last check, the 34 year old male victim from Tamarac was to be hospitalized in critical condition. The search for the truck driver is ongoing.
"Traveling at such a high rate of speed, they should always be reminded of the danger that is there," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Garfield Johnson. He reminds anyone who has to pull onto a highway shoulder should move as far away from traffic as possible. Not doing so can be deadly. "When they hit, it's just so fast," he said. "The injuries are going to be severe."
Gonzalez believes any responsible driver would always stop knowing they hit something - or worse - someone.
"You're going to lose your license. You're going to lose everything. You're going to use your freedom," he said. "It's not worth it."