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MIAMI (CBSMiami)- The three daughters and granddaughter of a prominent, 85-year-old math professor from Miami-Dade College are asking for the public’s help after he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.
Miami Police said David Hertzig died Saturday after he was struck just before 7:30 a.m. on Monday at S.W. 37th Ave. and Charles Terrace, where flowers now mark the spot of the crime.
Hertzig was riding his bicycle from his home to the Inter-American campus of Miami-Dade College when he was struck, leaving him with a broken shoulder, hip, ribs and pelvis. He was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital. His family says he died Saturday as a result of his injuries.
His daughter Beth Hertzig told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “My Dad before he died screamed out in the hospital that I hope they find that guy.”
Miami Police have released a bulletin saying they are looking for a newer model, blue Jaguar and want to question the driver.
Amie Hertzig said “Witnesses have said the man, the driver was about 5’10” inches tall. He was a white man with white hair and a receding hairline.” Witnesses have said that man may be in his 50s or 60s. “Witnesses say the driver got out of his car, made a phone call, talked with some people there and then sneaked away from the scene. He just left.”
“This is surreal,” said Amie Hertzig. “This wasn’t the way he was supposed to go. He had a lot of life left in him. It is unbelievable. What makes it so much harder is that he left and there was no remorse. Any information that people can provide would help us get some sort of closure and it is what my Dad deserves. He was an incredible human being.”
Beth Hertzig said “My father was a consummate scholar. He went to Cornell at the age of 16. He went to the Sorbonne. His father was a shoemaker. He did research at Princeton. He spent more than 30 years at the University of Miami in the math department and became its chairman. He went to law school. He had a background in architecture. And did you know that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was his prom date in High School? He even had a t-shirt saying “RBG.” He did so much with his life.”
His granddaughter Rubieleyla Hertzig said, “I don’t think this is what he deserved at all.” She wept as she said, “it breaks my heart. This is someone who I looked up to my entire life. He was face timing me and telling me how he liked riding his bicycle to work. It made him feel so energetic and alive. He was so excited about it. That’s why it breaks my heart to hear that this is the way he passed away.”
Beth Hertzig said “I am distraught. My Dad meant everything to me. My Dad was the best Dad. He was riding in the bicycle lane when this happened and a witness saw him flying through the air when he was hit. There was a doctor who stopped. I understand that people have accidents and that the hit and river might have thought my Dad was in good medical hands. But my father died way before he was supposed to die. And this man just took off. Anyone with an ounce of integrity should come forward.”
Another daughter Debra Taxman told D’Oench, “It is just awful for him to die in this way. It is not right for someone not to have the decency in such an accident to stop and see what happens. My father was the patriarch of the family.”
Beth Hertzig said, “My father had a saying that all things shall pass. Well this thing, what has happened, will not pass.”
Eduardo Padron, the President of Miami-Dade College, sent out a tweet, saying he was “saddened by the death of David Hertzig” and said he was a “dedicated professor” and said, “I thank you for your love of education.”
Anyone with information that can help Miami Police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).