LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — A man riding a bicycle to work early Saturday morning in Lehigh Acres was hit by a car. Now a family is planning a funeral after the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said a car hit and killed 40-year-old Ronald “Ron” Quilliam.
According to FHP, the crash happened before 7 am on Saturday and investigators are still trying to find the driver who is believed to be driving a silver 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna with damage to the front right side.
“Please … be a human being, this is my son,” cried Robin Cerone, Ron’s mother. “We just want to get justice for my son..please come forward.”
Ron worked at Publix in Fort Myers and his mother said it would take him at least an hour to get to work. She said she usually speaks to him each day before he heads out, but wasn’t able to that Saturday morning because she was at work.
“Even though he had nothing, he started from scratch, he would always be there for any of his friends and any of his family. He was a tough kid, he was very determined and he got that from me,” Robbin laughed.
Ron was known by his friends and family as Ron, Ronnie, or Pac after his favorite music artist Tupac. His family described him as a loyal family man with a smile that could light up a room.
“I am just upset because I feel like he was robbed. He finally got himself together and he was robbed of his happiness,” said Elizabeth Quilliam, Ron’s sister.
He started that search for happiness nearly two years ago. After visiting Southwest Florida from New York he later decided to start a new life here.
“Ron said something to me a week in a half ago, he said ‘Pop I’m special to God, I’m his favorite.’ That’s what he was doing, he was thanking God for helping him get a fresh start,” cried John Cerone, Ron’s stepfather.
“Part of me thinks that’s what God wanted him to do, and he was doing it,” said Bryon Quilliam, Ron’s brother. “He was seriously making a life for himself.”
When asked what is the thing they will miss the most about Ron, his entire family laughed and said “the way he would never let you live anything down.”
The question still lingers — why did this happen? According to FHP Ron was peddling on Sunshine Boulevard when investigators say a car, possibly a silver 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna, hit him from behind. Emergency crews found Ron dead at the scene and there is still no arrest for his death.
“This driver absolutely, positively knows they hit somebody on a bike,” said Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crime stoppers. “The right thing to do would have been to stay on the scene, call 911 and try and get him help.”
While police still search for the car and the driver, Jessica Quilliam, Ron’s sister-in-law is relying on a verse from Tupac to get her through.
“Death is not the only great loss in life, the greatest loss is what dies inside why we still live. Never surrender. I just want the person who did this to know that our family will never surrender. Until they are serving justice,” Jessica said.
Since Ron is from New York his family is trying to get his body back to his hometown. They started thisGoFundMe page to help pay for expenses.
Fox 4 is not affiliated with or liable for crowdfunding links provided in this story.