‘We want this person to pay’: Loved ones of scooter rider killed in hit-and-run on MacArthur Causeway speak out

A heartbroken family shared their pain more than a week after a husband and father was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver on the MacArthur Causeway.

Jonathan Javier Penalosa won’t get to see his daughter turn 7 or spend another moment with his loving wife, Maria.

The 28-year-old was killed on Jan. 9 while riding to work on his scooter.

Speaking through a translator with 7News on Thursday, Raul Campos, a friend of the family and Penalosa’s co-worker, said their loss has been devastating.

“A car hits him, and he lost his life a week later, leaving his daughter without a father, leaving his wife alone,” he said.

With Maria seated next to him, Campos said the victim leaves behind grieving loved ones in South Florida and abroad.

“The family in Colombia is not able to come here. For them it’s doubly hard, because they couldn’t be with him during his last days,” he said.

Penalosa was heading to The Yacht Club At Portofino in Miami Beach, where he worked as a valet, when he was slammed into by a vehicle.

The impact was so strong, it split the scooter in two and critically injured Penalosa.

The driver who hit him sped off.

Campos said he received the call about the crash.

Penalosa was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center, where he died several days later.

“We’re asking for the public’s help and someone who was present during the accident to help catch the person who ended his life, [the life of] a person who had a lot of aspirations and dreams,” said Campos.

Penalosa’s family stood by his side for three days before making the gut-wrenching decision to take him off life support.

Meanwhile, the driver who hit him remains in the street.

“Simply, we don’t want this crime to go unpunished. We want this person to pay for the damage that he has caused to this family,” said Campos.

Penalosa’s family is still struggling to pay medical and funeral bills, as well as bills to repatriate the victim’s body to his native Colombia. A GoFundMe page has been created to help them with the expenses.

If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.