Blue Point community rallies around man critically injured in hit-and-run incident
The search is on to find a hit-and-run driver who left a 74-year-old bicyclist critically injured.
Detective Lt. Paul Mamay says he's new to the Blue Point area, but says everyone knows Franny Columbine.
"If you're 15 or 85 in Blue Point -- he's the man. He's the unofficial mayor of this town," says Tom Cavanaugh, a friend of the victim.
"Every cop that's ever worked in that neighborhood or lived in that neighborhood knows this guy, everybody loves the guy," says Mamay.
Friends of Columbine say the 74-year-old was riding his bike around town last Monday when he was struck by a driver. Police say it was just before noon when he was riding north on Blue Point Avenue.
"By the time I got here, the ambulance was just getting here and it was just devastating to see him left on the side of the road," says Toni Ann Grube, a friend of Columbine.
Mamay says the SUV that hit Columbine did not stop and continued on.
Since the incident, the outpouring of support has been steady. A Facebook group called "Franny Strong" has more than 400 members sending well wishes and updates from the hospital, including one post letting everyone know Columbine was out of the ICU Saturday.
"All he keeps saying to me is, 'Sis I hope I can walk. I don't want to be in a wheelchair all my life," says sister Irene Logan. "That's heartbreaking."
Logan called the driver that critically injured her brother a "coward," adding, "If you don't get taken care of in this life, you will be taken care of in the next."