NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have released surveillance video that shows the truck that, they believe, was involved in a hit-and-run that claimed the life of a cyclist in Northwest Miami-Dade, early Friday.
According to Miami-Dade Police, 61-year-old Jorge Vargas was riding his motorized bicycle in the area of North River Drive and Northwest 30th Avenue when he was hit by a dark pickup truck, at around 1 a.m. They said the driver then fled the scene.
Loved ones are in disbelief that someone could just leave Vargas on the side of the road. “It’s something that I can’t comprehend,” said Gabriel Mendez, fellow cyclist and friend of 12 years.
Mendez said Vargas, an accomplished cyclist, died doing what he loved. “That was basically his passion,” he said.
The grieving friend said it wasn’t unusual for Vargas to go out riding his bike late at night. “It’s normal for us to be out there at that time, riding sometimes,” said Mendez.
The newly released surveillance video was recorded moments after impact. The dark-colored vehicle is seen speeding away with one headlight out.
“Maybe, if that person had stayed and called 911, they would have gotten there in time,” said Mendez. “He maybe would have been alive.”
Police said the truck could be a Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra. It was last spotted heading east on North River Drive.
While authorities continue their search for the driver, Mendez is left searching for answers. He told 7News Vargas doesn’t have any family, and even though he fell on hard times, he always had his bike. “He was happy doing two things: fishing and then going riding bike,” he said. “He basically had nothing material, no love for anything material outside of fishing, which he’d dive, spearfishing as well, and then just riding his bike. ”
If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.