Broward County

Teenage hit-and-run cyclist dies. Hit by driver on New Year’s Day

Philip Varsam now is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death
Philip Varsam now is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death

A 19-year-old man, victim of a hit-and-run accident on New Year’s Day in Fort Lauderdale, died Wednesday.

Alkiva Douglas’ death means Philip Varsam, 28, of Delray Beach now will face at least one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Varsam’s Monday arrest stemmed from a count of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.

The initial charge, to which Varsam pleaded not guilty, is a second-degree felony. Now, Varsam’s looking at a first-degree felony that carries a four-year minimum prison sentence.

Expect the bond to gain gravity, too. Varsam has been in Broward County Jail with a $30,000 bond. Charged with the same crime from Thursday’s fatal hit-and-run in Coconut Creek and with a one-traffic ticket past, North Lauderdale resident Nadia Pierrelouis’ bond was set at $250,000.

Fort Lauderdale police say Douglas was struck from behind around 8:41 p.m. as he cycled on the right side of Northwest Ninth Avenue’s southbound lanes near the 6700 block.

Varsam’s driving record shows one traffic conviction, for driving a car with a registration that’s been expired more than six months. He paid a $116 fine.

His death became the third hit-and-run fatality in Broward from Dec. 29 through Jan. 1. Jay Edelstein, 59, died in the aforementioned Coconut Creek crash. Weston’s Christopher Mohr was killed earlier New Year’s Day while cycling on State Road 84. Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking for the driver of an older-model white care that likely will have damage on the front passenger side headlight and windshield. The cycling community rode in honor of his memory on Tuesday.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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