One of the two brothers critically injured after being run down by an SUV while walking out of a movie theater last month died Thursday, hours before police announced there was an arrest in the case.
Michael Viruet, 20, died 19 days after he and his 11-year-old brother Adrian were hit near a pedestrian bridge on Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen Nov. 14, according to his family's GoFundMe site. Police say their sister was narrowly missed by the SUV, which allegedly drove off after hitting the brothers.
The impact injured Viruet's leg so badly that it had to be amputated, police said. His family said that he also sustained facial fractures and had to be put on a ventilator in the days following the crash.
The younger brother's arm was impaled on a spiked fence and he also sustained a serious head injury. Family members said last month the boy is breathing on his own, but doctors were worried about damage to the left side of his brain.
The family said the 20-year-old Viruet was protecting his brother when the car jumped the curb.
"He made the ultimate sacrifice anyone can ever make and that was to protect the younger siblings and take most of the impact from the car," the family said on the page.
Police identified Rogelio Chavix-Tacen as the driver of the SUV, which was recovered last month. Authorities say he had purchased tickets to return to his native Guatemala but never boarded the plane.
Chavix-Tacen was initially expected to face charges of aggravated vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
The Hudson County Sheriff's Office plans to hold a news conference Friday morning to announce a "major update" in the case.
-- Brian Thompson contributed to this report.