Family of Bicyclist Killed Pleads to Hit-and-Run Driver: Turn Self In, We Forgive You

The bicyclist struck by a hit-and-run driver in West Philadelphia early Saturday died Monday, police said.

Jamal Morris, 27, was hit at 45th and Market streets while returning to his apartment from work. The fatal crash occurred eight blocks east of his home, where he lived alone in a second floor apartment in the 5300 block of Market Street.[[376255551, C]]

A nearby business owner said Morris rode his bike past her consignment store almost every day and was a "nice, quiet young man."

Morris hailed from New York, coming to Philadelphia a few years ago to attend Drexel University. He graduated in 2011, according to social media posts.

His mother appealed for prayers over the weekend as her only son survived one night at Presbyterian Hospital in West Philadelphia, then died Monday morning.[[376237741, C]]

Morris's family, which came to Philadelphia from their home in New York, said they forgive the driver in the crash, and pleaded for the person to talk to police. 

His mother, Channabel Lathem-Morris, said she keeps thinking about her son's favorite saying. 

"That was his mantra: 'It's only getting better, mom,'" she recalled. "'It's only getting better.'" 

Morris worked as an engineer at the city firm, Amec Foster Wheeler, his friends and family said. 

He also worked part-time at a gym on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. 

No one knows where Morris was coming from, police and family said. Friends also said they did not know who was last with him. 

Eight people will receive life-saving organs, hospital officials announced Monday afternoon.

Police continued to search for the driver in the fatal crash that occurred sometime after 3 a.m. Saturday.

Capt. John Wilczynski implored anyone with information to come forward.

"It's unfortunate. We have no surveillance," Wilczynski said. "That's why we're asking for the public's help."

The hit-and-run prompted the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to call for better enforcement of traffic laws to prevent crashes, including more red-light cameras and speed cameras.

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