The family of a South Florida pastor who was left in a coma after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle in Miami Beach is speaking out following the arrest of a woman in connection with the incident.
Pastor Noe Aguilar was riding his bicycle on the Macarthur Causeway near Terminal Isle around 11:30 p.m. Thursday when he was struck by a black car that fled the scene, police said.
Aguilar was thrown from his bicycle and hit the pavement, and was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where he underwent lifesaving surgery due to a brain bleed, officials said.
"My husband is a family man, super liable, he takes care of us," wife Aracely said in Spanish Tuesday. "Just knowing that he’s in a coma at the hospital right now, it’s so hard for us because we’ve never been apart, we are suffering a lot."
Not long after the crash, a valet at an apartment building on South Point Drive near Alton Road called 911 to report that a black vehicle had pulled into the valet area with extensive front end damage, authorities said.
Investigators responded and brought the vehicle, a 2019 Mercedes C300, to the Miami Beach Police Department.
On Friday, the car's owner, 31-year-old Katherine Layla Colabella, went to the police department to inquire about her vehicle, police said.
Detectives spoke with Colabella, who admitted she had been involved in a crash with a bicycle or motorcycle but said she panicked and left the scene, an arrest report said.
Colabella, of Cooper City, also admitted to having multiple alcoholic beverages before the crash, the arrest report said.
Colabella was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving causing serious bodily injury. Attorney information wasn't available.
Aguilar's family spoke Tuesday along with their attorneys, Greg and Jany Ward.
"No one, no one should be left on the side of the road where they could die," Jany Ward said. "My client here was left like that."
Aguilar's son, Christopher, said he learned what happened from another pastor at Aguilar's church.
"My mom called me worried because my dad wasn’t coming home. I was calling him. I called his job," he said. "The pastor called his phone and the police answered. The police told the pastor and told them all the information and the pollice and the police called and my my mom then called me and it was a very devastating night for all us."
Aguilar, a father of two, is now fighting for his life, his son said.
"People shouldn’t be driving drunk and doing things like that because you could cause a lot of damage to a lot of families," Christopher Aguilar said. "We are praying for my father, for him to be fine, and we know that this is hard but he was a very caring person."