A St. Paul restaurant employee who was run over and injured on his bicycle late at night by a driver who fled the scene has died, authorities said.
Meanwhile, authorities are still seeking the SUV’s driver, who went through a red light downtown at W. 7th Street and Grand Avenue about 12:10 a.m. on Nov. 26 and hit Jose Hernandez Solano.
Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster said Thursday that Solano died at Regions Hospital, where his prospects for survival had been bleak from the start.
Solano, 52, was leaving his job at Brasa Rotisserie when he was hit and left unconscious and unresponsive in a lane of traffic on W. 7th at Grand Avenue.
Relative Kyle Chamblin said Solano suffered severe head and spinal injuries.
Restaurant co-workers established a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 for medical and possibly funeral expenses. As of late Thursday morning, the total was more than $16,000.
Solano had finished his shift at the restaurant on Grand between Avon and Grotto streets and left on his bike, the restaurant said in a Facebook posting soon after the crash, which occurred about 1¼ miles to the east at the well-traveled intersection. In a post on Thursday, the restaurant confirmed Solano’s death and said his family decided to make him an organ donor.
“The generosity of this act truly reflects the spirit of a wonderful man. A person that always looked out for others and brought positivity, humor and care to all those around him,” the post said, adding that his family will take his body to San Luis De La Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico, where he was born.
Police say they are looking for the driver of a tan or beige SUV and the vehicle, which likely sustained front-end damage. The SUV fled west on W. 7th. Anyone with information about the vehicle or driver is asked to call police at 651-291-1111.
Staff writer Chao Xiong contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482