A well-known Irish musician, who was in Florida to take part in an Irish-themed Caribbean cruise starring legendary performer Daniel O’Donnell, was killed in a hit and run crash, on Saturday.

Martin O'Connor, a married father of two, from Frenchpark, County Roscommon, was walking with two friends to his hotel from a local tavern when he was struck, by a black BMW SUV, at 4:55am.

He was killed instantly and the driver did not stop.

Shortly after 6pm on Saturday Richard Jennings, a local resident was arrested and charged with a hit and run leading to a death.

"They had gone up the street and were drinking at a bar and were walking back to their hotel," Broward Sheriff's Office spokesperson Dani Moschella told local radio station WSVN.

"They were all on the east side on the road, not in traffic, and for some reason, one of the three left the group and walked out into traffic. He was hit by a vehicle that then fled the scene."

O'Connor (41) was due to sail on the Holland America line Irish Caribbean cruise from Port Everglades, promoted by well-known Irish company Gertrude Byrne Promotions. He was described as a “highly skilled” drummer who was playing with the country and Irish music singer, Declan Nerney.

The Irish musician had been in the United States for less than 24 hours when the accident occurred.

A large selection of Irish music stars, in addition to O’Donnell, were booked on the cruise, including the Celtic Tenors, Tony Kenny, and Brendan Shine.

Friends identified O’Connor as a drummer in one of the Irish bands scheduled to play during the cruise.

According to the Sun Sentinel newspaper the crash happened at 4:55am in the 5300 block of State Road 7. North Lauderdale Fire Rescue took the man to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said O'Connor was with his two friends and somehow stepped on to the roadway and was hit by Jennings, who drove off.

A neighbor of Jennings saw the damage to the car, a black BMW that Jennings had driven, and notified the police.

The car was owned by Jennings' girlfriend, cops said.

Speaking to the Herald O’Connor’s brother, Paul, paid tribute to the father and musician.

"The five-piece band took the trip to Florida every year, and this was Martin's third year out there with them," he said.

"Declan Nerney has been playing music for the last 30 years, but Martin was only with the band for the past three years.

"They'd always be with a few different bands on the Caribbean cruise liner.

"They're constantly touring and have played all over England and Ireland.

"Music was Martin's passion in life and he played with different bands all his life and was a really talented drummer."

He continued to explain the series of tragic events as he understood them.

"I think the band had arrived in the country the night before the accident happened.

"They had a full day to relax, so that's what they were doing before boarding the ship where they were to spend a full week playing music.

"He was due to fly home next Sunday or Monday.

"They were just walking around on the night it happened; Martin was crossing the road when he was hit by the car.

"He married his wife, Valerie, in October 2003, and he has two young boys - Nathan is eight and Andrew is around five."