TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When Darrell Lawson left his house a little after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, his wife said she thought he was going around the back to visit their neighbor.
“I looked at the time and he wasn’t back in, I think around 8:15,” said Valarie Miller Lawson. “So I start, you know, went out back, I’m looking for him.”
She said she didn’t even make it off her property when her phone rang — it was her husband’s number.
“He’s like, ‘This is TPD, your husband’s been hit,'” Valarie recalled. “I’m like, ‘What you mean, hit?'”
The Tampa Police Department said the crash happened around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of North 19th Street and East 21st Avenue.
Police said a sedan hit 57-year-old Darrell Lawson and sped off — but it was all caught on security cameras. He was rushed to the hospital, where Valarie said she joined him.
“When I get there, first person that greet me is the chaplain,” Valarie remembered.
She said she was able to see her husband, bandaged up, but said the doctors told her there was nothing they could do. She watched him die.
“[Darrell’s] heart rate went from like 116, dropped down to 85,” Valarie said. “Just kept going, going, going. He was pronounced dead at 1:09 a.m. this morning.”
“They slowed down, just enough to dump his body off, let his body roll off,” Valarie said. “They left him for dead, lifeless.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to get over this,” she added. “I can’t tell you what I’m going to do, because I don’t know.”
“You just tore us, tore my life up,” said Valarie.
She said Darrell was hard worker and would help anyone.
“I can’t say anything bad about my husband,” Valarie explained. “The only thing I can say is I’m the only he gave hell. I’m the only one. And I’m going to miss that too.”
Detectives said they are looking for the driver of the car that fled the scene after hitting the bicyclist.
“I want this person to know, whoever you are, for God’s sake, man up and turn yourself in.”
Valarie said she’s looking for the driver too.
“My husband didn’t deserve to leave this world like this,” Valarie said. “I’m not going to rest until I get the b*****d that did this.”
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Tampa police or Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 800-873-8477. You could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $9,500 for information.