Eric Alexander had a routine with his finance' to help calm her nerves during his early morning commute.
"When he goes to work in the morning, our deal is he calls when he gets there to let me know he's made it safely," said Rhonda DeSantis.
But Wednesday, her phone fell silent until Alexander's boss called to say he never showed up.
"I said, 'Well, let's go drive and the go same way he goes to work. Maybe he had trouble with the scooter, a flat or something," Alexander's sister, Kim Niazi said.
As they followed his route along Highway 17 into Lake Alfred, they stumbled upon a roadblock and then saw his scooter sideways. They quickly learned Alexander was rear-ended around 5:30 in the morning and thrown off his bike.
The driver who hit him never stopped.
Alexander was rushed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
"He's got fractures in his face here, they had to put stitches in his head, there's a tube down his throat," Niazi said Wednesday.
While his Yamaha scooter tops out at 40 miles per hour, family members say he was always cautious of cars and decked out his bike and helmet in reflector tape.
"He always drives in the right-hand lane, and he always wears his helmet when he leaves here," DeSantis said.
Now, Polk County Sheriff's deputies are searching for the hit-and-run suspect. They believe the driver was in a beige F-150 pickup truck.
Alexander's family is hanging onto hope that someone will step forward.
"You can be bitter and say, what goes around comes around. You never want to have anybody feel this kind of pain and harm. But God has his ways of taking care of these kinds of things," DeSantis said.
Deputies ask if anyone spots a beige 2004-2007 F-150 pickup truck with damage to the right front headlight and possibly grill, give the sheriff's office a call immediately at (863) 298-6200.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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