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February 10, 2015

Driving is a responsibility. It’s something that comes with rights and privileges. If those responsibilities are not taken seriously, there can be consequences. That’s what happened to a Key Biscayne, Florida man.

On February 2, Alejandro Alvarez was driving a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta eastbound on Crandon Boulevard around 5:23 a.m. At the same time, two bicyclists were also traveling eastbound on the road in a designated bike lane. According to media reports, Alvarez looked down at his phone to change a song and was distracted from driving. He hit both bicyclists. In a panic, Alvarez fled the scene and drove to his parent’s house.

One of the bicyclists, 40-year-old Henry Hernandez, was transported to Mercy Hospital and was in serious condition. The other bicyclist, 51-year-old Walter Reyes, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police officials say Alvarez tried to stage an accident and make it appear that his car had been stolen. He grabbed a golf club out of his parent’s garage, but changed his mind at the last minute. He instead called 911 and reported the accident. The 911 dispatcher told Alvarez to return to the accident.

At the accident, Alvarez approached an officer and told him that he was the one who had hit the bicyclist. The officer inquired about whether Alvarez had been drinking. He said no but the officer noticed that Alvarez slurred his speech, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.

According to investigators, Alvarez, who is a student at the University of Maryland, said he had been out all night at a dance club. He had left the club at 4:30 a.m. and had driven to his parent’s house.

Alvarez was arrested and charged with DUI and manslaughter. He was freed on a $38,500 bond. He could also be charged under Florida’s Aaron Cohen Protection Act, which passed in 2012. Cyclist Aaron Cohen was struck and killed by a motorist, who fled the scene. The driver only served 364 days in jail. A law was passed that stiffens penalties for drivers who hit bicyclists and flee the scene. It’s unclear if the law applies in this case.

Florida car accident attorney James O. Cunningham has extensive experience representing the injured victims. For a free initial consultation, contact our law firm today at 888-FLA-AUTO (888-352-2886).

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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