Police in Melbourne appeal for a “gutless” man to come forward after he fled from a fatal hit-and-run crash involving a cyclist at West Footscray.
A 54-year-old New Zealand man, who lives in Melbourne, died at the scene when his bicycle was struck from behind on Barkly Street, West Footscray, about 3:00pm on Thursday.
Police said the driver of a white Holden Rodeo, who is described as being about 25 years old and wearing tradie overalls, hit another vehicle before dumping the damaged ute.
The man ran from the scene along Argyle Street and was last seen jumping a fence in Essex Street.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Patrick said they were close to identifying the man.
“It’s certainly a gutless thing that has occurred and we make an appeal to driver to come forward,” he said.
“We are certainly confident that in the next day or two we will identify who he is.”
He said anyone harbouring the man could also be charged.
There were about five or six witnesses to the crash and Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Patrick said praised the “brave” man who took a photo of the man after he dumped his ute.
“That’s how we are confident this person is the driver,” he said.
“He [the witness] saw him driving, saw him get out of the vehicle, took the snap and I think that’s just wonderful. It makes our investigation so much easier.”
The suspect had recently purchased the ute but did not transfer the ownership.
Witnesses believed the man ditched his overalls and police will conduct a line search in the area to see if they can find them.
“When this man surrenders himself, I hope, or is arrested, that will start to commence the healing process for the family,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Patrick said.