MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A 21-year-old man is under arrest in connection to a crash which left one cyclist dead and another in the hospital.
Alejandro Alvarez is facing multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash involving death and DUI manslaughter.
Police said Alvarez slammed into the two cyclists early morning Wednesday.
Walter Reyes, 51, died on the scene. Henry Hernandez, 40, was taken to Mercy Hospital.
The accident happened near Virginia Beach Drive, near the 6000 block of Crandon Boulevard at about 5:22 a.m.
Police said Alvarez left the scene after the accident but returned a short time later. He was driving a charcoal gray Volkswagen Jetta.
According to this arrest affidavit, Alvarez was driving to his parent’s Key Biscayne home at about 5:22 a.m. after a night at a Miami Beach club when he hit the cyclists.
The report states he originally left the scene, but returned twenty minutes later and told an officer, “It was me. I was the one that was involved in the accident. I was scared and I fled. I drove down to Harbor Drive, parked my vehicle and called my mother.”
The cop said Alvarez was “hysterically crying.”
The affidavit goes on to say he even told police he “attempted to fake a robbery by smashing the rear window of his Volkswagen with golf clubs” but couldn’t go through with it.
He eventually said he was changing the song on his iPhone and wasn’t looking at the road at the time of the crash.
Reyes, according to family members, was training for the Dolphins Cycling Challenge, a ride where the money raised is donated to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami to tackle cancer.
Reyes’ daughter Jennifer was wearing her Dolphins Cycling Challenge shirt with pride Wednesday night during an interview with CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana.
“I want him to be remembered as a good man who is just trying to do his part,” she said. “This is my father. I love him very much. And he will always be in my heart.”
Jennifer said her parents got her a new bike for Christmas and she had hoped to ride more with her father, who often rode every morning before work.
“You never realize what you’ve got until it’s gone,” she said. “It’s cliche, but unfortunately, it’s also very, very true.”
Mike Pappas, a friend of Reyes and the CEO at the Keyes Realty Group where Reyes was the CFO, said he was a kind, passionate person, “who loved his family, loved his employees had a real heart and kindness for people. He will be sorely missed.”
Cyclists, on their daily ride, reacted to the news.
“It’s just situations that we as cyclists, we have to you know be very weary every time we ride, especially in the morning—especially in Key Biscayne,” said cyclist Christopher Tellez.
Reyes’s death adds to the number of cyclist killed doing what they love
On January 17, 2010 Christophe LeCanne was struck and killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway by hit and run driver who later plead guilty to DUI manslaughter and is now facing 12 years in prison.
In February 2012, Aaron Cohen was riding along the Causeway with his friend when a hit-and-run driver slammed into them. Cohen was killed and the driver was found guilty and charged with Cohen’s death.
The cycling community’s rally cry for change has only grown louder.
“We just need action,” said Bernard Zyscovich. “Just take some action and let’s argue about the nuances of the plan later. Let’s get some lane separation and let’s get safety put in place.”
Police say Alvarez is a student at the University of Maryland.
We spoke to a campus official on the phone Wednesday who told us students are still on winter break.
It’s not clear whether Alvarez will be returning.