HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Hallandale Beach police are searching for a driver they said caused a fatal crash over the weekend before abandoning the vehicle and running away.
Authorities said the victim, David Diaz, 41, was heading west along Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Dixie Highway shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday in his Volkswagen Jetta when his car was struck by a Jeep Wrangler.
Police believe Diaz didn't see the Jeep coming.
The impact caused Diaz to slam into a flower shop. Police said he had to be extricated from his car and was then taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he died.
"When I got the phone call, I had a hard time believing it," the victim's brother, Jorge Diaz, said.
Authorities said the driver of the Jeep appeared to be a man in his 20s.
Diaz's wife is devastated. She told Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic Wednesday that Diaz was a great person, husband and father, who will be deeply missed.
"I was devastated because I never thought it was going to be him that this happened to," Jorge Diaz said.
According to Jorge Diaz, his brother was on the way home from work when the crash happened. He said his brother was trying to provide for his five children who were the center of his world.
"He died for his kids, and that's something that I will take in my heart for life," Jorge Diaz said.
Authorities said they believe the driver of the Jeep was in Aventura or North Miami shortly before the fatal crash happened.
David Diaz's wife said she wants to know why the driver didn't stop to render aid, leaving her husband at the scene like an animal.
Police said they have some leads on the case, but not enough for an arrest.
"I'm not mad at him at all. I forgive him," Jorge Diaz said about the driver who killed his younger brother. "The only thing he has to understand is that running is not going to help because he has to take that burden for the rest of his life. You can't hide all your life."
Anyone with further information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.