HIGHLAND (CBSLA) — A man who beat cancer was killed riding his bicycle in the City of Highland and the driver who hit him did not stop to help out.

Fifty-three-year-old Dereck Alexander was riding his bicycle home on Sterling Avenue in Highland Monday night when a driver hit him in the roadway.

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The impact sent his body up onto the sidewalk here he died in the reflective safety vest he wore to make himself more visible to drivers in the dark.

“He always had it on, so I’m sure the person seen him,” said the victim’s mother, Lula.

However, police say that driver didn’t stop.

“Left him there. Just heartless,” said Dennisha Alexander, the victim’s niece.

Now they’re investigating evidence from the scene, looking for video, and asking for the public’s help identifying that hit-and-run driver.

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“He didn’t deserve to die this way. He really didn’t,” said Alexander.

It’s hard for his family to cope with how quickly Dereck was killed after such as a brave battle to stay alive.

“Oh, he survived cancer six years now,” said Lula. “They had to remove his ear, and remove a portion of his skull. But he was getting around really good.”

Lula says her son was strong-willed and kind-hearted. That he stepped up as a father to help raise his nieces and nephews. And his love for life radiated throughout their home.

“He would sing that silly song, ‘Oh what a beautiful morning!‘ He would sing it through the whole house,” said Lula.

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The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral and other expenses.