Canadian tourist nearly killed by hit-and-run driver in Longboat Key

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – It was supposed to be the perfect vacation.  Michael MacCormick and his family enjoy a family trip to Tampa Bay each year. This time, things went differently. This vacation nearly ended with Michael losing his life.

As an avid cyclist for more than two decades, the retired businessman from Halifax, Nova Scotia loves the sunny skies and bike trails that Longboat Key offers. He and his wife, Brenda, along with their children Karen and Matt, were thrilled to escape the cold this year as they planned out the perfect itinerary in the Tampa Bay Area.

Things went horribly wrong on April 2 in Longboat Key as Michael and his wife were cycling along Gulf of Mexico Boulevard.  Brenda was a few minutes behind her husband.

“He’s a better cyclist than I am,” she told News Channel 8 during an exclusive interview Wednesday night. “So, I was behind him. Then, I came around the corner.”

What this wife witnessed was the most gut-wrenching moment any spouse could ever see, her husband dying in the street.

“He was covered in blood,” she said. “Paramedics were there. Ambulances were there. Police had arrived.”

Michael was rushed to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where doctors performed emergency surgery. Michael was in danger of losing his life. It was an agonizing two hours before surgeons would walk out to the waiting room where Brenda was.

“I was terrified, I was terrified,” she said with tears in her eyes.

How did things go so wrong?

A heartless driver is to blame, the family says. Someone hit Michael, took off and left him to die in the street. 

Police tell us that they are following leads right now and keeping this case a top priority. According to the family, a police report revealed that the driver who hit Michael yelled out an expletive before driving off, avoiding arrest.

News Channel 8 also learned that an eyewitness saw a white truck as well.  

The family wants justice, and they’re hoping detectives will be able to find the cruel person who left their father alone in the street.

“Who does that?” asked Brenda. “We just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Michael would not wake up for three days. The tears began streaming down Brenda’s face as she described what it was like to see her husband suffer.

“I was terrified the whole time.  But, [the kids and I] talked about it at the end of the day and said ‘okay, today was a good day. Right?  Let’s hope tomorrow will be a good day as well.'”

Family stayed by his side, desperate for answers.

“All I could think about was you know, the absolute worst could happen here,” said Brenda. “But, we tried to remain positive.”

Michael is still recovering at the hospital, and his wife said the family is now preparing to have him airlifted back to Nova Scotia. In a twist of fate, the day that this husband and father of two is scheduled to go home is his birthday. His family says his survival is the greatest gift of his lifetime.

If you have any information, please call Longboat Key Police.

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