ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A bicyclist who was struck by an SUV in St. Paul last week, died Thursday morning.
St. Paul police say it was a hit-and-run — the driver fled the scene and they are still looking for that person and the vehicle.
The victim is 52-year-old Jose Hernandez Solano — a dishwasher at Brasa Rotisserie. St. Paul Police say he was riding his bike home from work just after midnight on Nov. 26, when the driver of an SUV hit him and then took off.
Jose’s friends tell us before he died, he gave others an important gift. Megan Gall is the general manager at Brasa.
“Funniest guy in the room. He was always here to make people laugh, make people smile,” she said
Jose Hernandez Solano spent a week and a half on life support at Region’s Hospital. Surveillance cameras captured the moments just before and after the crash that critically injured Jose at West 7th Street and Grand Avenue.
“It’s just so incredibly sad, you know, to watch this beautiful family that has become our family over this last week and a half,” Gall said.
The crash shattered Jose’s spine and caused severe brain damage. Doctors immediately declared him brain dead. His family is now choosing to donate his organs.
“He gets to give that donation of life to someone else, and bring joy into their bodies as well,” Gall said. “He was one of the most generous beings out there. Always wanting to take care of his friends and family.”
Police describe the vehicle they are looking for as 2008 or 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s light green but can appear beige, silver or tan depending on the light. It has front end damage and is missing the passenger side mirror.
“Accidents happen, but there are consequences to those actions,” Gall said. “We will do everything in our power to make this right.”
Jose’s family is planning to bury him in Mexico where he was raised.
The restaurant put up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover Hernandez’s medical expenses. You can donate to it here.
Police have not made any arrests in the case. Anyone with information on this crime, or who may be able to identify the vehicle, should call St. Paul police at (651) 266-5727.