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Deadly Hit & Run On Palmetto Expressway

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - One person is dead and another injured following a hit and run crash on the Palmetto Expressway on Christmas Eve morning.

It happened early Thursday near Southwest 8th Street on State Road 826.

The northbound lanes had to be shut down for several hours and investigators pieced together the scene.

Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigators say it began when a friend tried to help a man who got stuck on the highway.

Troopers say a white Mercedes Benz was out of gas and the driver, identified as Oscar Rodriguez, called a friend to lend a hand.

"He gets out of work at that time," said Darian Rodriguez, Oscar's brother. "I'm sure he was on his way home, getting ready for the party tonight."

As the two were standing by their vehicles, a car then crashed into them.

"The Mercedes Benz was parked correctly in the right shoulder on the northbound lanes safely all the way to the road, and I don't know for what reason that car collided with that vehicle," said Trooper Indiana Villalonga.

The impact was so violent, a piece of a victim's car was torn off.

"The door of the Mercedes Benz is missing," Villalonga said. "It's on the floor."

Rodriguez's friend was killed. He was rushed to Kendall Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

While it's not yet known what caused the other driver to crash, troopers have a word of caution this holiday.

"It's Christmas Eve, please, please do not drink and drive. Take a taxi, call a friend," Villalonga said. "We have had just this morning two fatals already, we are trying to avoid this, The worst part of my job is going to somebody's house and knocking on that door, especially today, tomorrow, and during the end of the year giving them those news."

Investigators have not yet released the name of the person who died.

Troopers don't know the make and model of the car they're looking for, but they believe it is light blue based on some of the debris found on scene.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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