Family of man killed in hit-and-run calls for driver to come forward

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For the first time, the family of a man killed by a hit-and-run crash in St. Paul is speaking out. Family members traveled all the way from Mexico to make their plea to the public with one question: Who is responsible?

Through a translator, Jose Adrian Hernandez Solano spoke about his father Jose Hernandez Solano, who passed away from his injuries early Thursday morning after getting struck by an SUV on Nov. 26. His father, a Brasa Rotisserie employee, had been riding his bike home from work that night.

“It has been a hard situation to confront, everything is so sudden,” said Jose Adrian Hernandez Solano. 

St. Paul police confirmed investigators are still working to find the driver who hit him. Solano was found unconscious, unresponsive and with serious injuries halfway through his usual five-mile bike ride home. 

“I just want justice for him,” said David Hernandez, a friend and coworker. “I know he did the right way he was biking with helmet, front light, rear light. These are the conversations we have every day.”

According to witnesses, Solano had a light on the bicycle he was riding and proceeded through the intersection of Grand Avenue and West 7th Street when he was hit by a driver who sped through a red light. The suspect subsequently fled the scene without stopping. 

Investigators say the SUV, a 2008 to 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe, was last seen on surveillance video headed west. It’s believed to have distinct stock wheels that have been painted with flat black paint. The overall color is platinum sage metallic, but in certain light can look silver, grey or beige. The vehicle likely has front-end damage and a missing mirror on the passenger side.

“If a neighbor or coworker come up with a story they sold the car or the car is stolen, it's all of a sudden gone - those are the tips I need,” said Sgt. Julie Sam, who is leading the investigation for St Paul Police. “Because there is a reason that car is no longer out where people can see.”

Anyone with information on the driver or the suspect vehicle is asked to call the St. Paul Police at 651-266-5727. Tips can also remain anonymous by calling 1-800-222-8477.