LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Ahead of the season starting for Florida, Crime Stoppers is warning about what they call alarming numbers of drivers hitting, and in some cases, killing pedestrians. In less than 24 hours, two pedestrians died in Lee County.
From as far south as Bonita Springs to North Fort Myers, three crashes happened on Sunday. The trend is raising the alarm for officials.
"Right now, we've got three in a very, very short amount of time," said Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. "Unfortunately in a couple of these incidents, the pedestrians were already in the roadway and vehicles drove over them."
That's what Florida Highway Patrol says happened on Temple Terrace and Bayline Drive on Sunday around 1 a.m. A 43-year-old man was laying on the road when FHP says he was killed. It's not clear why he was on the road.
An hour later, another crash happened. This time in Bonita Springs off of Calypso Way.
"As it turns out, someone previously had run over this guy, dragged him 10 to 11 feet, and then just left him for dead in the middle of the road," Routte said.
According to a police report obtained by Fox 4, a driver found the man in the middle of the road and called the police. The driver waited for the man so he wouldn't get hit again.
Routte says the man is in very serious condition and is fighting for his life at Gulf Coast Hospital. Investigators are still looking for the driver in that case.
"This person did the coward thing and they took off," Routte said.
On Sunday around 8 p.m. — another crash. This one happened at Palm Beach Boulevard and Fairfax Drive.
"In this incident, the victim was found in the middle of the road. He was found deceased, run over," Routte explained. "There's a lot of unknowns about this one at that point."
Just like in the other cases, it's not clear why the man was in the middle of the road.
While we were in the area of Palm Beach and Fairfax, at least six people darted across the road and they were not in a crosswalk.
Routte says these crashes are not only alarming because of how many have happened, but because of where they're happening. At Palm Beach and Fairfax, Routte says another deadly crash happened back in April. The circumstances in that case and the other from Sunday are fairly similar, Routte said.
"We want to make sure we don't see a continuing uptick in these drivers versus pedestrian crashes," she said.
It's an uptick Routte says they're worried about.
"Season is almost here and you know, over the next month or two is when we have more drivers on the road and more pedestrians walking on the sidewalk," Routte explained. "We fear that that number is only going to go up."
Routte says everyone needs to stay hyper-vigilant — drivers and pedestrians.
"The fact that we've seen three in under 24 hours, that is very, very alarming," Routte said.
If you know anything about any of the crashes, you're asked to call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.