51ºF

Beloved homeless man killed in Birmingham hit-and-run crash

Driver facing possible felony charges for leaving scene

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – A homeless man beloved by business owners in Birmingham was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the road, police said.

Birmingham police said the man was killed overnight Friday while crossing Woodward Avenue at Forest Avenue, near Maple Road.

The 40-year-old man lived in Birmingham for more than a decade, business owners said. Police aren’t publicly identifying him yet.

The man would visit the Beyond Juicery + Eatery smoothie bar five or six days a week. He was usually too preoccupied to have much of a conversation, manager Mario Soto-Garcia said.

“He never bothered anybody,” Soto-Garcia said. “He’d come in sometimes. We’d feed him. Come in for breakfast through lunch, just be here.”

Often the man, whose family lives in Southfield, would try to pay. But others would look after him, residents said.

Police said the man was crossing Woodward Avenue south of a crosswalk when an SUV plowed into him.

The SUV was a 2013-2017 dark-colored Chevrolet Traverse and likely has left-front body damage and a broken headlight, according to authorities.

Police are collecting video footage to get better information. Michigan State Police troopers are also helping to enhance surveillance camera video of the incident.

“It’s very sad that this happened to him,” Soto-Garcia said.

Birmingham police said the driver of the SUV stopped briefly, got back in the vehicle and sped east on Maple Road before doubling back and driving north on Woodward Avenue.

“They should come forward,” Soto-Garcia said. “That is the right thing to do.”

Officials said had the driver stopped and reported the crash, they likely wouldn’t have had any problem. Now they are facing possible felony charges.

Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to call Birmingham police at 248-530-1870.


About the Authors: