The mother and father of a 20-year-old cyclist who died in a hit-and-run in Whitchurch-Stouffville are pleading with the driver to come forward.
York Regional Police said Daunte Thompson-Bruce was struck in the area of Ninth Line and Bethesda Sideroad sometime between 2 and 6 a.m. on Tuesday while riding his bike. Officers said the driver of the vehicle did not stay on the scene where Thompson-Bruce later died.
Felicia Thompson and Dwayne Bruce stood together during a news conference at York Regional Police headquarters on Wednesday while reading a joint statement.
“Daunte was alive and breathing, but couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t help himself, but he could have been helped. To the motorist, how could you leave him to die?” Thompson said.
“This is the greatest fear any parent could know. Your baby you nurtured through life, your baby who [you] had dreams and aspirations for, is now hurt, alone and not knowing if he would ever see his mom and dad, his two younger brothers and his sister again.”
Bruce said his son had just finished his second semester of a business human resources program at Seneca College. He said his son was planning to work throughout the summer.
“You took away a brother, a son, probably a father in the future — you’ve robbed a family,” he said.
Thompson said she and her husband found out their eldest son was hit while wishing their younger son a happy birthday.
“Yesterday was our other son’s birthday, so we were wishing him happy birthday and sending him off to school and then we found out our son was dying,” he said.
WATCH: Parents of Daunte Thompson-Bruce share memories of their son
Det. Rich Gaudet told reporters on Wednesday a passerby stopped when they noticed Thompson-Bruce on the road.
“We are asking anyone who may have been in the area of Ninth Line and Bethesda Sideroad before 6 a.m. with dash cam (footage) or anyone that observed Daunte on his bicycle or the collision to please come forward,” he said.
Police released photos of Thompson-Bruce as well as the bike he was riding and said they hoped someone will recognize either.
Family members and investigators encouraged the driver to get legal representation and to turn himself in.
Anyone with information is asked to call the major collision investigation unit at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7704 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
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