Nearly three weeks ago, 52-year-old Bipin Patel was struck and killed by a driver as he rode his bicycle from his San Jose home to his job three miles away in Milpitas. His wife says it still feels like he’s just away on business and due to return anytime.
Patel was struck on Great Mall Parkway by the driver of a maroon SUV going west on Montague Expressway. That driver did not stop.
“It’s hard to imagine him lying there without help for x amount of time, we’re not sure. That’s something we’ll have to picture in our heads,” said the eldest of Patel’s three children, 21-year-old Chandni Patel.
Chandn Patel is asking that driver to come forward to offer the family answers and some peace.
“We wish no harm to the person who did this, we just hope they can accept responsibility and bring us some closure,” Chandni Patel said.
Chandni Patel says her father would have wanted the family to forgive the driver who struck him. They want to honor that wish, as they did his wish to donate his organs.
Patel was not wearing a helmet and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. Even in death, his family says he was selfless, and four people got his lungs, kidneys and liver.
Milpitas Police Sargeant Raj Maharaj said he understands the family’s need for answers, but investigations take time. Maharaj says the department responded quickly and posted signs asking witnesses to come forward. So far, there has only been one.
Though the family wanted to take the search public right away, Maharaj said the department had to complete some aspects of the investigation first.
“We’re looking for a vehicle," Maharaj said. "We may not tell the public we’re looking for a vehicle because then the suspect knows we’re looking for a vehicle and try to hide it or get it fixed. So we want to make sure we follow up on all the leads we can before we go to the public."
Patel’s cousin says that, although the driver failed to do the right thing the day he or she hit Patel, there is still time to get things right.
“He was a wonderful man and whomever made this mistake, don’t make the mistake again,” Nilesh Patel said. “There’s still a chance to bring this family some peace.”