Friday, December 10, 2010

Parents hope hit-and-run driver surfaces

By Lyda Longa, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Because their son Bruce was an adventurous soul -- skateboarding, motorcycling all over the state -- Mark and Christina Robb were always apprehensive whenever they heard an ambulance.
But on the night of Nov. 30, the sirens of an emergency vehicle sounded different -- the sirens were closer, right on the busy street where they live.
Christina Robb left her residence in the 1000 block of Calle Grande Street, drove east five blocks toward the golf course and saw police. Then she spotted her son Bruce Robb's bicycle on the roadway, its rear red light still blinking.
A few yards away was her son's puppy, a 5-month-old Labrador-pit bull named Clover that Bruce Robb had adopted a month earlier. The dog was dead, but Christina Robb never saw him, Mark Robb said.
She was intent on asking police about her boy.
An EVAC ambulance had already spirited Bruce Robb away to the hospital; but six hours later, the 19-year-old died.
Based on debris left at the scene, Holly Hill police say the younger Robb was struck that night by a hit-and-run motorist likely driving a 1500 series Dodge pickup. Investigators believe the truck -- a model manufactured between 2006 and 2008 -- has front-end damage.
The person driving the truck, however, has not been found and both the Robbs and police are hoping someone will come forward.
Mark Robb, a Christian missionary, says he's not angry at the driver. He simply wants that person to own up to what happened.
"Nobody set out to kill someone on a bike," Mark Robb wrote on Dec. 3 in a one-page document where he listed his feelings about the pickup driver.
Sitting at the kitchen table of his home on Calle Grande this week, Mark Robb said his son was kindhearted, an advocate for the underdog. Pictures of the smiling teen with long, blond dreadlocks were behind him on a kitchen counter. The most prominent photo is one of Bruce Robb and Clover the day the canine was adopted.
The night they were killed, Bruce Robb and Clover were returning from a friend's house on State Avenue, Mark Robb said. It was Bruce Robb's habit each night to visit his friend, someone whom Bruce Robb wanted to help.
"He (and Clover) would always come back by 9 p.m.," Mark Robb said. "Bruce had the dog for only a month, but during that time he was able to train Clover to walk beside him as he rode the bicycle."
Bruce Robb and Clover were struck in the 500 block of Calle Grande. There are no streetlights there; the road is winding and there are no sidewalks. The posted speed limit is 30 mph.
The older Robb is hoping streetlights are erected on Calle Grande so his son's death will not have been for naught.
He brought out a giant homemade card that employees at Manor on the Green in Daytona Beach had made for Bruce Robb. The teen -- who would have turned 20 on Dec. 6 -- worked there for two months as a certified nurse's aide in the dementia unit. He made fast friends in his short time there.
Holly Hill acting Police Chief Steve Aldrich said Bruce Robb was a "young man who was doing all the right things."
Aldrich said police have received a few tips, but investigators need that one break to solve the case.
"We just want to close this up for the family," he said.

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