Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Hillsborough

Bicyclist killed in Tampa hit-and-run ‘was working so we could be a family,’ fiancee says

Jacob Weinert, a 28-year-old father of two, was struck by a pickup near Sligh Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Jacob "Jake" Weinert, 28, seen here holding his son Jasper in 2018, was killed Tuesday morning when a pickup truck struck him from him behind while he was riding on U.S. 301 in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Courtesy Izabel Sgie]
Jacob "Jake" Weinert, 28, seen here holding his son Jasper in 2018, was killed Tuesday morning when a pickup truck struck him from him behind while he was riding on U.S. 301 in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Courtesy Izabel Sgie]
Published Nov. 12
Updated Nov. 13

TAMPA — Jacob “Jake” Weinert had a toddler son and a newborn daughter and a fiancee who loved him in Illinois.

To save money and reunite the family in Florida, Weinert worked as a forklift operator at a Tampa warehouse, said his fiancée, Izabel Sgiers. He had a roughly hour-long bike ride to work from the ranch where he was staying with friends, Sgiers said.

“He was working so we could be a family,” she said through tears. “He made sure he woke up early every day to make it to work.”

He didn't make it Tuesday.

Weinert was riding south in a marked bicycle lane on U.S. 301 just north of Sligh Avenue about 4:40 a.m. when the driver of a southbound pickup struck him from behind, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Weinert was mortally injured and died at the scene. The pickup driver didn’t stop.

Jacob Weinert's bicycle lies in the road after he was struck by a pickup truck while riding on U.S. 301 near Sligh Avenue. Weinert was riding in a marked bike lane when he was struck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]

Troopers were searching for the pickup and its driver Tuesday. The truck is white but investigators did not release more information Tuesday afternoon and were asking the public for help.

Weinert’s bike had a front light and no rear light, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a Highway Patrol spokesman. A photo provided by the Highway Patrol shows the bike was also equipped with reflectors on the pedals and on at least one wheel.

Weinert was born in Illinois and raised in Lockport, a small city southwest of Chicago. He was patient and outgoing, a hard worker who loved bowling and disc golf, Sgiers said.

“He made friends with anyone and everyone,” she said.

Fifteen months ago, the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, a son named Jasper. Weinert wanted a daughter, too, and three weeks ago, Sapphire was born.

Now they'll never know what an amazing father he was, Sgiers said.

“To the person who killed the love of my life, my best friend, my soulmate, you just took everything from me and my kids,” she said. “Nothing will ever be okay. I will make sure you rot in jail.”

Weinert’s brother Rob Pappalardo has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to return his remains to Illinois and support his family.

Troopers asked anyone with information on the crash to call the Highway Patrol at (813) 558-1800 or submit a tip through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 873-8477 or going to crimestopperstb.com.

Jacob "Jake" Weinert, right, is pictured in this family photo with his fiancee Izabel Sgiers and their children, Sapphire and Jasper. [Courtesy Izabel Sgiers]

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Hillsborough deputies investigate the scene of a deputy-involved shooting on Thursday. [Tony Marrero]
    Sheriff Chad Chronister said three deputies fired upon Romello Barnes, 22, at about 9:40 a.m. at River Pointe Apartments, on Hidden River Drive.
  2. Hillsborough County Sheriff Office arrested 22-year old Ozcan Rodriguez Okur, an Amazon delivery driver who kept approximately $890 in items and gift cards from packages he was responsible for delivering to customers. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    Ozcan Rodriguez Okur Junior kept approximately $890 in items and gift cards, marking them as “missing.”
  3. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor retained control of the city's community redevelopment areas Thursday as council members unanimously approved her right to hire a director for the city's eight redevelopment areas. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A job search for a community redevelopment director is launched as City Council asserts its right to fire with a super-majority vote.
  4. Edgar Jose Martinez, 32, was charged with first degree murder and abuse of a dead human body on Dec. 9, 2019. The arrest comes less than two weeks after deputies found human remains near Martinez's home on the 10000 block of East Bay Road in Gibsonton. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    Edgar Martinez shot Marquise Hassell once in the head on Nov. 25, then burned the body, a Sheriff’s Office investigation found.
  5. After receiving multiple calls and emails from residents, Tampa City Council chairman Luis Viera wrote a letter to AMC’s corporate management asking to discuss the New Tampa theater. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    City Council Chairman Luis Viera wrote to AMC corporate headquarters asking to discuss the theater’s upkeep.
  6. Cleveland, Ohio, has one of the highest rated bus rapid transit lines in the country, with features including a dedicated traffic lane. Hillsborough transit officials are making plans for bus rapid transit line between downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida. [Greater Cleveland Regional Transit]
    The project, using All For Transportation sales tax revenue, would run along Florida Avenue, Fowler and Bruce B. Downs.
  7. Andre Clemens, 24, was arrested on two counts of attempted murder, discharging a firearm from a vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Tampa police. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
    Andre Clemens faces two counts of attempted murder. Tampa police have said little about the shooting near E Fowler Avenue.
  8. The new Maydell Drive Bridge will be a multi-use bridge to cater to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians with travel lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and a barrier-separated 5' sidewalk & 10' trail. [Hillsborough County]
    Hillsborough County closed the bridge in December 2015 after an independent engineering study found it was structurally unsound.
  9. California-based customer service company Alorica is permanently closing its call center near U.S. 301 and Adamo Drive and laying off 482 employees. [Google street view]
    The layoffs are scheduled to take place from Feb. 9 through March 27.
  10. Rodney Davis, 56, shown in video released from the Polk County Sheriff's Office of Operation Santa's Naughty List. Davis, a Disney World security guard, is accused of soliciting prostitution. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
    His arrest was one of 124 in Operation Santa’s Naughty List, a prostitution and human trafficking sting from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement