Executive chef dies in Miami Beach crash

Terrazza at Shore Club's Executive Chef Stefano Riccioletti dies in hit-and-run crash

Published On: Jan 30 2013 05:02:30 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 29 2013 12:13:39 AM EST
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

A pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run crash along outside the Shelborne Hotel on Monday morning was identified as Terrazza at Shore Club's Executive Chef Stefano Riccioletti.

Riccioletti died when a driver struck him with her car and left the scene.

Authorities say it's a Good Samaritan's call that led police to the driver of the car that left the scene after it struck Riccioletti on NE 18th Street and Collins Avenue.

"This person not only saw what happened, they followed the car, they did a play-by-play to the 911 operator," said Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez. "We were able to locate the vehicle and place her in custody."

Police say Riccioletti was crossing the street around 6 a.m. when he was hit by a car driven by 20-year-old Karlie C. Tomica and left for dead.

The impact was so strong it threw him several feet onto the hotel's driveway.

"I just came down and came to breakfast and I told my husband I have to see what's going on," said tourist Susan Eaton.

Eaton was staying at the Dorchester Hotel across the street. She says things can get dicey for tourists trying to cross Collins Avenue late at night.

"Actually, I'm amazed it doesn't happen more often," Eaton told Local 10's Carlos Suarez. "It's very tragic. I'm thinking this person was just walking down the street, seeing all the sites of Miami for the first time and lost their life."

Police stopped short of saying Tomica was drunk, but tourists say it wouldn't be surprising if alcohol was involved in the crash.

"I don't think pedestrians or people in cars are paying enough attention late or really early in the morning," said one man at the scene. "It's a big party element. Everyone's partying."

Tomica was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death.

On Monday afternoon, The Shore Club released the following statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with this family during this difficult time. He was a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed."