Friends Demanding Answers as the Search Continues for the Fatal Hit-and-Run Driver in Venice

Friends Demanding Answers as the Search Continues for the Fatal Hit-and-Run Driver in Venice

VENICE (WWSB) - Troopers are still searching for the driver that crashed into a motorcycle last Friday night - killing a Port Charlotte man.

It happened at the intersection of Jacaranda Boulevard and U.S. 41 in Venice. Investigators say the driver violated the right of way, hitting the bike, and then ran off. It has now been a week since this fatal crash happened, and detectives have not been able to pinpoint exactly who was behind that wheel, so for the family and friends of the victim, it's been very difficult to find closure.

"It's going to be swept under the carpet again, ya know? We've got another biker that's gone," Rick Billitteri told us.

Rick was there that night, riding right behind his dear friend, Michael Shea. They are members of the Gulf Thunder Riders Motorcycle Club. "We had the green light, we were all going through it, and all of a sudden I just heard a bam. I saw a car, and mike’s bike, leave my view. I was looking at all the debris, and I was trying to maneuver through there. I felt like I was in a hurricane, everything was in midair,” Rick explained.

When Rick, and another club member, Pete Purcell, were finally able to get their bearings, they parked their bikes and ran to the scene to see who was responsible for what just happened. That’s when they learned the driver had fled which has been the hardest part for the club. Not only was one of their members taken too soon – but that the suspect, who failed to yield before turning, was able to just get away, and still has yet to be caught.

"We’re known in Southwest Florida as the safest motorcycle club there is, and we ride by the rules. We try to ride safely, and Mike always adhered to all of that, so to end up this way.. it’s not called for,” said Gary Fulmer, who is also a member of The Gulf Thunder Riders Club.

The driver was in a 2017 gray Nissan Sentra. If anyone has any information on this accident, you’re asked to call the Florida Highway Patrol.

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