Police, Family Search for Hit-And-Run Suspect - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Police, Family Search for Hit-And-Run Suspect

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Two days before Christmas, Josh Stricklin, 27, was riding his bike home from work between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

"A bicyclist was Westbound on 4th Street about Fox Run Drive, Lamar Co. Sheriff Danny Rigel said. "He was in the center turn lane, and a vehicle was passing in the turn lane and struck him."

His brother, Jeremiah, explained he did that because there isn't a bike lane or sidewalks, and cars aren't supposed to drive down the turn lane.

"The bike had reflectors and had all the safety precautions it was supposed to, but if you're passing where you're not supposed to be, chances are you're going to miss something," Stricklin said. "And he did. He hit a human being, and then left him there."

Stricklin was grateful to a young girl named Ariel who called police and helped direct traffic.  Josh was immediately rushed to Wesley Medical Center.  His right arm is fractured, and his left leg is broken in three places, which doctors say could be a permanent injury.  He is expected to be down for four to six months.  Doctors told the family it was one of the worst breaks they have seen.

"He's bruised up all over," Stricklin said.  "He can barely move. He's in a wheelchair."

He said the four days his family spent in the hospital, including Christmas, were torture.

"The only thing that could make it worse is that if this guy gets away and no one deals with it," Stricklin said.

Rigel said police don't have much to go on, so they're asking for the public's help.

"Compared to a death, a broken leg is nothing, and I feel like that's the way a lot of people could see this, but the fact is some guy out there hit him with a car and left him there to die, and regardless if he had died or not it's the same crime," Stricklin said.

"I'd like for him to know that he ruined an entire family's Christmas and started the new year in the worst possible way a human being could do it," Stricklin said to the driver of the white car.  "It's a gutless, terrible, awful thing to do to someone, to a perfect stranger, and I can't imagine the life you have to lead to be able to leave someone there to die without feeling any sort of guilt. To run away from that is the lowest of the low, and I don't feel pity toward you.  I don't feel pity toward anyone that could do that, but I really hope justice is brought and the faster the better."

Anyone with information about the accident should call Crimestoppers at 601-582-STOP (7867) or the Lamar County Sheriff's Department at 601-794-1005.

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