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Wife of hit-and-run victim calls for change after husband's death on Colonial Drive

'I am not giving up, I will fight to the end'

ORLANDO, Fla. – The wife of a hit-and-run victim is speaking out. 

Yoli Arias' husband, 49-year-old Jorge Arias, was killed in a hit-and-run along Colonial Drive last week. 

"Everywhere I go, I know he's with me. I feel him with me. I know he's with me. He's my protector," Arias said. 

Inseparable: That's how Arias describes the relationship between her and her husband.

Next month would have marked their 10-year anniversary. 

Arias described her husband as a man who loved life and was living the American dream. 

She said the Honduras native was an avid gardener and their yard is a constant reminder of him. 

"It is very hard for me to look at my palm trees, look at my flowers. You know, all this stuff," Arias said. 

Florida Highway Patrol troopers believe Jorge Arias was struck between 5:30 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. on June 27.

His body was found hours later in a watery ditch. He was wearing a reflective vest and had lights on the back of his bike. 

He was less than a mile from home. 

"I said, 'Well be careful. I love you.' You know, and that was it," Arias said. 

The front bumper of the hit-and-run vehicle was found at the scene of the crash, troopers said.

The evidence is helping investigators in the case. The vehicle has been recovered and troopers said they have identified a person of interest in the case. 

Along with justice, Arias wants to see a change along Colonial Drive. 

"From here down to the 520 where it goes up at least this is residential area, you need 30 mph. I want sidewalks and I want crosswalks," Arias said. 

She's started a petition and contacted Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacob's office and Florida's Department of Transportation. 

She was told by FDOT officials they need a list of complaints and concerns to get changes made. 

It's a challenge Arias will not give up on. 

"We can't afford to lose anymore lives out here," Arias said. "I am not giving up. I will fight to the end. I'm not going nowhere."

Steve Olson, with FDOT, said the traffic operations team will review the area where Jorge Arias was killed and search for any improvements that can be made. 

The department mostly relies on law enforcement crash reports to do a study, when they become available. 

After inquiry, Olson said they can begin sooner. 

FDOT also plans to check its records to see if it has any past history of assessments, especially speed limit changes. 

Olson said they planned to call Yoli Arias to speak further about possible changes. 


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