The driver of the automobile that struck two bicyclists on the Rickenbacker Causeway has been arrested after one man was killed and another was hospitalized after they were struck in Key Biscayne early Wednesday.
21-year-old Alejandro Alvarez was arrested by Miami-Dade Police Wednesday. He was charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash, driving under the influence/manslaughter and serious bodily injury to another driver.
Alvarez was released from jail after posting $38,500 bond early Thursday. It was unknown if he has an attorney.
Police and rescue crews were on the scene of the fatal crash that shut down both eastbound and westbound traffic on the Rickenbacker Causeway for most of the morning.
Two Bicyclists Struck in Key Biscayne
Chopper 6 was over the grisly scene near 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway in the area of the Miami Seaquarium. Miami-Dade Police said one bicyclist, 49-year-old Walter Reyes, was fatally struck in the eastbound lane early Wednesday morning. Aerial images showed two mangled bicycles on the ground, and what appeared to be the bloodied body of that cyclist covered by a yellow tarp just a few feet away.
The other cyclist, 40-year-old Henry Hernandez, was also struck and was transported to the hospital with injuries. Hernandez was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was in serious condition, officials said.
Aerial images also showed the involved vehicle, a grey Volkswagen Jetta, with severe damage to its windshield.
It appears that the bicyclists were observing all applicable traffic laws, but the driver was not, according to police. They say the accident is being treated like any other homicide case.
At the time of the accident, Police say Alvarez fled the scene because he said he was scared. He then drove home and attempted to fake a robbery by smashing the rear window of his Volkswagen with golf clubs but then decided that he could not do this, according to the arrest report.
Alvarez called 911 from his parent's home and told officials that he was the driver involved in the accident and asked if he should return to the scene. Once he arrived to the scene, police say he turned himself in and kept asking if the cyclists were ok.
Two Bicyclists Hit, One Killed, in Key Biscayne
The driver was later sampled for blood by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Reyes, a husband and father of two, was a prominent executive with Keyes Company. Reyes and Hernandez, a local attorney, were training for an upcoming charity biking event, the Dolphin Cycling Challenge.
He was much more than our CFO, he had a heart and compassion that really worked throughout our company," Keyes President Mike Pappas said of Reyes.
There was a heavy police presence on the scene with major traffic delays in the area early Wednesday.
One westbound lane was open, as was one eastbound lane. Traffic was being routed from east to westbound lanes.
Inbound lanes of the Rickenbacker Causeway have since been reopened, and normal traffic has resumed.
The county has invested more than $14 million in biking improvements but some commissioners said the area needs more.
"When people, walk run or cycle they're taking their lives into their hands in Miami-Dade and we need to find solutions," Commissioner Pepe Diaz said.
Others said some of the roads are among the most dangerous in South Florida.
"I'm horrified just like everyone else, this is the third fatal accident we've had on this same stretch of roadways that's only six miles long, in the past 5 years," cycling advocate Elijah Stiers said.