August 3, 2021

Hit-run victim was drummer in Irish band set for Caribbean cruise

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fl-north-lauderdale-fatal-hit-run-20150207-001By Mike Clary From Sun Sentinel

Drummer in Irish band struck and killed by hit-run driver in North Lauderdale, deputies say
Drummer killed in hit-run crash was due to leave on musical Caribbean cruise

NORTH LAUDERDALE —Two days before he was to begin a shipboard gig playing drums with a band on an Irish-themed Caribbean cruise, Martin James O’Connor and two friends went to a bar near their hotel.

After the bar closed early Saturday, O’Connor, 36, was walking back to the Ramada Plaza at 5100 N. State Road 7 at 4:55 a.m. when “for unknown reasons” he walked into the roadway and was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene, according to Broward Sheriff’s deputies.

Investigators said he was hit in the southbound lanes of the 5300 block of State Road 7.

After a day of searching, traffic homicide detectives arrested the driver and recovered the vehicle, a black BMW SUV, on Saturday evening, according to Broward Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dani Moschella.

Richard Jennings, 35, was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday at his Hollywood home and charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death. He was being held Sunday in the Broward County jail on $25,000 bond.

An acquaintance of Jennings saw the damage to the car and notified the Sheriff’s Office, the agency said.

The car belongs to Jennings’ girlfriend, BSO said.

A picture released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office shows damage to a headlight, the hood and fender on the right side of the car.

O’Connor, of Frenchpark, a village in County Roscommon, Ireland, was the drummer in a band that was scheduled to play on a Holland America Line cruise that was to leave Sunday from Port Everglades, band mates said.

They said his wife in Ireland had been notified of his death.

O’Connor had been with friends at Players Sports Bar & Grill, 5280 N. State Road 7, a few doors north of the hotel and on the same side of the street, detectives said.

Moschella said investigators were trying to determine why O’Connor was in the roadway on the other side of the median.

IMAGE: A man was arrested for hitting and killing an Irish tourist with his car and then fleeing the scene, deputies said. (Broward Sheriff’s Office)

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