Pinellas authorities search for drivers in separate hit-and-run collisions that left 1 dead, 1 critically injured

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Traffic investigators are searching for two drivers in two separate hit-and-run cases in Pinellas County.

Clearwater police say one of the drivers left a bicyclist named Joseph Samson, bloody, broken and fighting for his life.

Samson was crossing Cleveland Street when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. He remains at the Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition.

Investigators are searching for a dark-colored truck in connection to the incident. The truck may have an extended cab and front-end damage.

“If anybody has any information on who this driver was, they should call us,” said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Department.

Samson’s friends tell us they were left in disbelief.

“You can never be too careful out here on the streets you know, they’ll hit you,” said the victim’s friend John White.

Another bicyclist was fatally struck on Ulmerton Road on Wednesday morning.

William Lugo tells us he was getting off the bus when he noticed Robert Allen Shepherd, 62, of St. Petersburg, lying in the road.

“When I came towards 58th, that’s when I saw about ten state troopers and state troopers walking up and down, people taking pictures,” said Lugo.

The troopers said Shepherd was riding in the bike lane when he was hit and died at the scene. He was reportedly wearing a reflective vest and had a light on his bike.

After the collision, the driver kept going, but investigators say they left a clue — a side mirror belonging to a 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Matrix, or Toyota Corolla.

Shepherd was hit by another driver, who stayed behind and spoke with authorities.

Law enforcement officials are calling the drivers who fled in these two cases heartless.

“It’s really a disturbing trend that some drivers really have a cold and callous disregard for the value of a human life.”

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