Broward County

Police seek hit-and-run driver who struck man riding bicycle

Hit-and-run crash victim David Lee Veargis and one of his daughters, Sheliniqua Veargis.
Hit-and-run crash victim David Lee Veargis and one of his daughters, Sheliniqua Veargis. Courtesy of Veargis family

The family of David Lee Veargis, the man killed in a hit-and-run crash early Friday, are looking for answers and hoping the driver will come forward.

Veargis, 58, a handyman and sports coach, was riding his bicycle northbound in the southbound lane of University Drive about 4 a.m. when, according to police, a driver in a 2006-2009 Ford Fusion struck him and did not stop to offer help. Another driver saw Veargis’ body and called police.

Alexis Veargis, 29, got the call about her father around 5 a.m.

“I’m still in disbelief,” she said. “My dad has been riding his bike forever. He’s gone from Pembroke Pines to the zoo on that bike.”

She also said her father was always well-equipped in terms of safety. He had lights and reflectors on the bike and made sure to carry an air pump in case of a flat tire and a raincoat in case of rain.

“I know this wasn’t a mishap on his part,” she said.

The family spent Saturday afternoon making funeral arrangements. Octavius Veargis, president and founder of a local nonprofit youth mentoring program in Coconut Grove, wants someone to answer his questions about his father’s death.

“Accept responsibility,” he said. “Why did this happen? Put yourself in our shoes. If you did this, and you went home to your family and didn’t say anything, you’re living a lie.”

Pembroke Pines police Sgt. Carlos Corretjer said they had no new information as of Saturday evening.

The accident site was parallel to North Perry Airport and South Florida State Hospital, but Corretjer said he was not sure if there are any cameras from the hospital, airport or surrounding businesses pointing to University Drive.

Until they can get the answers they seek, David Lee Veargis’ family members remember him for being a mentor and a “homeboy,” and for how much he loved his bike.

“That bike was his heart and soul. He lived and died by that bike,” Octavius Veargis said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Pembroke Pines Police

Department at 954-431-2200, email to Tips@ppines.com, or call Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS

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