Jose Hernandez, the St. Paul man gravely injured in a hit-and-run accident early Sunday morning, suffered major injuries to his brain and spine and is near death, according to a GoFundMe account in Hernandez's name.
Hernandez, a well-liked kitchen employee at Brasa Rotisserie restaurant in St. Paul, was biking home from work when he was struck by what witnesses described as a tan or beige SUV, which then sped away.
The GoFundMe account says Hernandez was "moving with the right of way," and that the SUV driver had run a red light before hitting him. Hernandez is described as an "avid cycling enthusiast who was vigilant about safety," wearing a helmet and lights to illuminate him at night, and someone who "strictly obeyed" traffic laws.
Hernandez was taken to Regions Hospital, where he has received treatment for "massive" injuries he suffered, including a severed spine, brain damage, and "many broken bones." Two surgeries have been performed to reduce swelling in Hernandez's brain, the GoFundMe says, but "his prognosis has the odds stacked against him."
As of Tuesday morning, the fundraising account has raised close to $7,000, exceeding an initial target of $5,000. Money raised will help his family pay for medical expenses and, if Hernandez does not survive, to help with funeral costs and to fly his body back to his native Mexico.
"Jose has brought joy and humor to his friends and co-workers at Brasa Rotisserie," reads the GoFundMe.
The driver is still at large, and St. Paul police are asking for anyone with information to call 651-291-1111.
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