ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Right now, a Twin Cities restaurant worker is clinging to life following a hit-and-run crash on Sunday.
Co-workers say a driver hit 52-year-old Jose Hernandez as he biked home from work early Sunday morning. The crash happened at West 7th Street and Grand Avenue in St. Paul, just a few miles from Brasa Rotisserie, where Hernandez works as a bus boy.
His co-workers shared their plea for answers with WCCO’s Angela Davis.
“I believe the person needs be a human being and come forward,” friend Kyle Chamblin said.
Friends describe Jose Hernandez as a compassionate man who loves his job in the kitchen at Brasa, and his coworkers.
“He really cared, a hardworking man. A decent human being,” Chamblin said.
Witnesses told St. Paul police they saw an SUV run a red light, crash into a bicyclist and drive off with without stopping. When Jose didn’t show up for work Monday morning, a co-worker called his cell phone.
It was answered by a nurse, who said he’d suffered a severe brain injury and was on life support.
“His spinal cord has snapped at the base of his skull and he’s basically brain dead,” Chamblin said.
Friends say Jose is an experienced, careful biker who always wore a helmet and a headlamp at night.
“He would bike his way to work or walk to work all four seasons of the year,” Chamblin said.
Surveillance cameras are mounted on several buildings near the crash scene. St. Paul police say they are reviewing video from those cameras for evidence.
“I believe it is time to find some care and some kind of dignity and emotion and bring some ownership to the mistake of killing a decent human being,” Chamblin said.
St. Paul police need help to catch the driver who hit Hernandez. They described the SUV as beige or tan, likely with front-end damage.
If you see it, please call police at (651) 291-1111.
A GoFundMe has been created to help with medical expenses for Hernandez. Here is how you can donate.