He was killed helping a stranded motorist. Arrest 1 year later helps his family heal.

Pierre Fortin was helping a stranded motorist when he was fatally struck on I-95 on Oct. 31, 2019. An arrest was made almost exactly a year later.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Pierre Fortin was just a good Samaritan who pulled alongside the highway to help out a stranded motorist. That decision cost him his life one year ago.

Pierre’s sister Fran Fortin says her family is still grieving the tremendous loss, but they have some sense of relief after an arrest was made in the hit and run case almost exactly a year later.

“My brother would do it again, always dong a favor,” Fran Fortin said. “At one point I didn’t think this was ever gonna get resolved.”

Pierre Fortin, 49, was hit by a car that never stopped shortly after 2 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2019. Sebastian Jean Baptiste, 20, was arrested Friday and faces charges of reckless driving, failing to remain at the scene of a crime involving death and driving with a suspended license.

“The defendant and his passenger had been partying all night in an Airbnb in Sunny Isles Beach where the defendant was consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana,” prosecutor Ross Weiner said.

Investigators say speed was a factor in the crash, which was captured on a trucker’s dashcam video on I-95 North near Pembroke Road.

Video shows the speeding Toyota keep going after hitting Fortin crossing the lanes. Prosecutors and a defense attorney confirm the car was ditched a short distance away.

Evidence shows the suspect was with a second man that night.

“He left the vehicle on the side of the road and had his passenger order a Lyft to take him back to the Airbnb,” Weiner said.

A defense attorney for Baptiste argued that his client’s DNA was not found on the gearstick in the car.

Baptiste remails jailed on a $125,000 bond.

“My brother will never come back, so there will never be any closure,” Fran Fortin said, “but at least the person who killed him was arrested.”


About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.