Delray Man Accused in Hit-and-Run that Critically injured Fort Lauderdale Bicyclist

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Photo: BSO.

(SS) A Delray Beach man is facing charges in connection with the New Year's night hit-and-run crash that left a Fort Lauderdale bicycle rider hospitalized with injuries that police describe as life-threatening.

Philip Varsam, 28, is accused of striking the back of a bicycle ridden by Alkiva Douglas, 19, of Fort Lauderdale shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday as Douglas was riding south along the 6700 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue. A witness reported that the driver of a white, four-door 2015 Lexus hit the bicycle and then continued southbound on Ninth Avenue, police said.

Police have not yet said how investigators decided Varsam was the driver in the crash.

During Varsam's first appearance court hearing Tuesday, a state prosecutor described Douglas' medical condition as "brain dead."

Varsam, who does not have a criminal record, is a server at an Italian restaurant, according to information given during his initial court appearance. He was arrested Monday on suspicion of failing to stop or remain at an accident involving serious injury.

Broward County Judge Michael Davis set a $30,000 bond and ordered Varsam to surrender his passport.

Police are asking anyone who saw the crash to call Traffic Homicide Investigator Jill Hirsch, at 954-828-5753.


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