Several bicycling groups in the Twin Cities are hosting a ride this weekend in memory of Jose Hernandez Solano, the Grand Avenue restaurant employee who was killed by a hit-and-run driver late last month.
Participants will gather at 10:45 a.m. Sunday outside Brasa Rotisserie in St. Paul and push off soon after that, with their destination being Grand and W. 7th Street, where Hernandez Solano was struck on Nov. 26 shortly after midnight by an SUV. The hunt continues for the driver of the vehicle.
“Jose was a father, a friend, a co-worker, and a bicyclist in our St. Paul community,” Hernandez Solano’s employer said in a Facebook posting announcing the 1¼-mile ride. “No one should lose their life this way.”
Once the riders pay their respects at the intersection just west of downtown, they are invited to return to Brasa and warm up from the mid-December chill.
The event’s hosts are Transit for Livable Communities, Women on Bikes St. Paul, Cycles for Change, St. Paul Bicycle Coalition and Ghost Bikes Minneapolis. For further information, contact Theresa Nelson at 612-655-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hernandez Solano, 52, had finished his shift at the restaurant on Grand Avenue between Avon and Grotto streets and left on his bike. He was struck at the intersection by a motorist who ran a red light and was spotted on surveillance video speeding and driving recklessly moments earlier in downtown.
Co-workers established a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $20,000 as of Thursday for medical and funeral expenses, which include returning Hernandez Solano’s body to San Luis De La Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico, where he was born.
Police say they are looking for the driver and the vehicle, a 2008 to 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe that is “platinum sage metallic” in color. However, the SUV has a green tint and could look silver, gray or beige in certain light. The rims were also painted a flat black. The SUV, which fled west on W. 7th, likely has front-end damage.
St. Paul police Sgt. Mike Ernster said Thursday that “the investigator in this case was looking for people along West 7th Street who may have seen this incident or vehicle.”
Ernster said anyone with information about the case can call the investigator at 651-266-5727 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 if they wish to remain anonymous.