‘How could you?’: Polk Co. family offers reward money for deadly Thanksgiving Day hit-and-run

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Winter Haven’s Roy Newton never made it to Thanksgiving dinner.

His family is offering reward money to find answers about why.

“Roy was a very smart individual. He had compassion for people,” said his cousin, Kevin O’Brien.

Courtesy: Kevin O’Brien

He was the kind of big brother who would pass on his knowledge to the younger kids.

“He taught me all about the air conditioning and that’s where I’m at today. Grew up with my brother showing me everything,” said his brother, John Newton.

But this Christmas, Roy Newton, 44, a father of two, won’t be at the holiday dinner table.

“We’re left with the questions of – why’s? And how’s? And how could you’s? You know what I mean? I mean, just to discard somebody like that and not even at least make the phone call before you drive off,” said O’Brien.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Newton was hit by a car on Carl Floyd Road near Executive Road South in Winter Haven on Thanksgiving Day at around 6 p.m.

He was riding an electric scooter.

“He was obeying the law and someone hit him and left him for dead,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

The driver continued north, according to Sheriff Judd.

Someone saw Newton and called 911. He was responsive when deputies first arrived.

Shortly after, he fell into a coma from a brain injury and died on Dec. 2.

“To watch them pull the tubes and watch him just die in front of us was probably the most scarring thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said O’Brien.

The sheriff’s office shared a picture of what detectives think the car that hit him looked like.

*Not the actual vehicle involved*
Source – Polk County Sheriff’s Office

The vehicle is described as a grey 2007 – 2009 Lexus.

After the crash, the car suffered right-side damage and was missing a right-side mirror, according to deputies.

“If it’s repaired, someone repaired it. If you repaired such a vehicle, just pick the phone up, call CrimeStoppers,” Sheriff Judd said.

In addition to CrimeStoppers, Newton’s family is offering $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

“It won’t bring him back. It won’t take our pain away. It won’t take that empty feeling that we’ve got in our heart right now but it’s the only kind of closure we can get right now,” said O’Brien.

To receive the CrimeStoppers’ reward money, tips must be made through CrimeStoppers.

The tips can be anonymous and tipsters are not required to participate in the case moving forward.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers:

  • Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
  • From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
  • Or visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,”
  • Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.
    You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss