Deadly hit and run on Staten Island

February 13, 2012 2:21:14 PM PST
A man on a bicycle was struck and killed by a vehicle that fled the scene on Staten Island Sunday night.

A makeshift memorial marks the spot where police say 29-year-old Ronald Tillman, a student at nearby Wagner College, was killed Sunday night by a hit-and-run driver.

Police say Tillman was riding his bicycle when he was struck about 9:15 p.m. along Howard Avenue between Highland and Grand.

His crumpled bike was tossed to one side of the road and his body and possessions on the other.

Investigators believe Tillman was riding against traffic at the time of the accident, heading home from a night of studying just down the road at the school library.

"We were talking about it all morning. It's really upsetting. I think the fact that we don't know who the person is who hit him, I think is horrible," said Samantha Weinstein, a Wagner College Sophomore.

On the Wagner campus Monday, there was an undertone of sadness.

Tillman was a first year nursing student there and was described as a wonderful student and friend.

"He really had found his passion when he got here at Wagner. He loved being here. He found nursing to be something that he really wanted to be a part of," said Joseph Romano, Wagner V.P. of Communications.

While some classmates sought grief counseling, others planned a campus-wide memorial.

"The thing about Wagner is that it's like a really small community. And we're all like really close together, so I think there will be a good turn-out," said Jordan Payne, a Wagner Sophomore.

As Tillman's friends grieve, police are reaching out for help to find the driver who hit him, including an electronic message board just feet from where he died.

Police are searching for a black SUV or pickup truck, possibly a dodge, with its front grill missing.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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