The vehicle involved in a hit-and-run collision Thursday night that seriously injured an 84-year-old Niagara-on-the-Lake cyclist is a General Motors brand SUV or pickup truck, police say.
Niagara Regional Police have determined the vehicle is a 1994 to 1999 GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban or a GMC Sierra pickup truck.
It is pewter metallic or silver in colour, police said in a statement Monday.
They released a series of photos of GM trucks that potentially match the suspect vehicle in the hopes that the public will recognize the truck.
It is missing an external mirror and has damage to the passenger side front corner, investigators said.
Meanwhile, Nester Chemerika remains in a Hamilton hospital in improved condition after undergoing two surgeries for the severe injuries sustained in the crash.
His condition had improved as of Saturday night, said neighbour Don Lees, who has been in close contact with the family.
“He’s not in as bad a shape as we originally thought. We thought he had bleeding in the brain but it turned out to be a concussion,” Lees told The Lake Report.
“He had two surgeries for his arm and his leg. He has a broken bone in his face. I guess the muscle on the back of his leg was really ripped open,” he said.
An earlier police statement said the man was hit “by a truck or utility vehicle while cycling and the vehicle then left the scene prior to police arrival.”
Chemerika was found lying in the north side ditch, police said. The incident happened about 8:30 p.m.
Doctors originally worried he would be paralyzed due to broken vertebrae, which turned out instead to be “wear and tear on his back,” said Lees.
“He’s in rough shape. He’s going to be in the hospital for a while. There’s no doubt about that,” he added.
Doctors estimate he will be in the hospital for about three months and then another three or four months in recovery at home, he said.
Police said the driver didn’t offer aid to Chemerika and fled the scene after striking him as he cycled on East and West Line near Concession 2.
Police are asking anyone with information or dash cam footage to contact them at 905-688-4111, dial option 3, ext. 1009089.
Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477.
With files from Somer Slobodian.
- See The Lake Report’s earlier story here.