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Las Vegas police arrest suspected DUI driver in fatal hit-and-run

Updated January 26, 2019 - 4:59 pm

A suspected DUI driver, who police said changed clothes after abandoning his vehicle, is facing a murder charge in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist Friday afternoon near the Strip, jail records show.

Jorge Cardenas, 58, faces additional felony charges of reckless driving resulting in death and failing to stop at the scene of a crash, according to the same records.

Details of his arrest were not immediately available, although a press release from the Metropolitan Police Department, sent just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, said Cardenas was “later located and arrested.”

Las Vegas police suspect that Cardenas struck the 55-year-old bicyclist, who was in a designated bike lane near Flamingo Road and Tuscany Casino Drive, as he was fleeing from the scene of another hit-and-run crash that had occurred just moments earlier near Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard South.

About 2:30 p.m., a 2002 Honda Odyssey van that police believe was driven by Cardenas and the bicyclist were both heading east on Flamingo when the Honda veered into the bus and bike lane to avoid traffic, hitting the bicyclist and sending his body into the roadway, police said.

Police say in the release that the Honda continued east on Flamingo and “in an attempt to hide the vehicle” had entered the casino parking lot of Silver Sevens on Paradise Road, where Cardenas allegedly abandoned the car.

“Some good Samaritans followed him and tried to detain him,” Metro traffic Capt. Nick Farese said at the scene Friday evening, but the driver was able to get away. He then changed clothes and was last seen running from the scene, prompting an active police search that lasted well into Friday night.

About an hour after the deadly crash, Metro released a photo of a man Farese characterized as a “person of interest.” It remained unclear Saturday whether the person in the photo is Cardenas.

The bicyclist will be identified by the Clark County coroner’s office after his family has been notified.

Cardenas was being held Saturday without bail on the murder charge at the Clark County Detention Center. Jail records show he also is facing traffic charges in two unrelated cases.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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