MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Police in Middletown are still searching for the driver that hit and killed a bicyclist last week.
Elias Valesquez Chavez, 40, was riding his bicycle on West Main Road Friday night when police said he was hit by a vehicle. The driver of that vehicle then took off.
Valesquez Chavez worked at the Chili’s location in Middletown. His boss, Jay Winthrop, couldn’t believe it when he heard what had happened.
“He was just a hardworking guy you wanted on your team forever, you never wanted him to leave,” Winthrop said. “You wanted him there seven days a week if he could be. If we had someone that called out sick, he was here, always willing to pick up shifts, always willing to help out, he was just a great, great guy.”
A GoFundMe page created by his loved ones says Valesquez Chavez is a native of San Guyaba, Palencia in Guatemala – where he will be buried.
So far, the page has raised more than $5,000 of its $8,000 goal. The funding will cover the expenses of returning Valesquez Chavez’s body to Guatemala.
Meanwhile, police are still searching for the driver that hit Valesquez Chavez. Police have not yet released surveillance footage or photos but said a dark-colored Dodge Charger or Dodge Challenger was driving at a high rate of speed in the area the night of the incident.
Police are looking to speak to the driver of this vehicle, as well as the driver of another vehicle that investigators believe was traveling behind the suspect’s vehicle when it hit Valesquez Chavez.
“As the vehicle was passing the Middletown Public Library, it was flashing its lights at ongoing traffic,” Middletown Police Captain Jason Ryan said.
Police are also looking for surveillance footage from the area that may aid in their investigation.
“Anyone that may have cameras facing West Main Road and see if they will contact the Police Department to see if they will share that footage with us,” Ryan said.
Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the Middletown Police Department at (401) 846-1144 or the anonymous tip line at (401) 842-6516.