‘I don’t want anybody to ever forget him’: Vigil held for motorcyclist killed in hit and run

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An outpouring of emotion Saturday night in memory of a motorcyclist killed in a deadly hit-and-run crash on Thursday.

Friends, family, and dozens of fellow motorcyclists came together to honor Lester Bagalihog, he went by “Nicco” and was just 28 years old.

The vigil happened hours after the man accused of killing Bagalihog faced a judge for the first time. The hit-and-run was caught on camera and shows two motorcyclists followed by a black Tahoe. The motorcyclists stop for a light, but the Tahoe runs Nicco over and keeps going; the other rider was not seriously hurt.

READ: FHP finds, arrests driver who they say ran over, killed motorcyclist on Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville

Loved ones gave Action News Jax a video of Bagalihog riding his motorcycle, it was the last time they saw him alive. It was recorded after he and his friend Ryan Ramos left dinner Thursday; just minutes after, Bagalihog was run over and killed.

“That’s our brother, he is someone’s son, he is someone’s brother and he is someone’s fiance,” Donna Ramos said.

Nicco was engaged and going to get married in October. Donna Ramos knew him as well as anybody and said he was an amazing person.

“He never failed us to make us laugh,” she said. “He was just with us and next thing we know, he’s just gone.”

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Dozens of friends, family, and fellow motorcycle riders brought candles and flowers to the spot where he was killed near Beach Blvd. and Tamaya Blvd.

“I don’t want anybody to ever forget him,” Derrick Gooden said.

To honor what he loved, the vigil started and ended with a group ride.

Florida Highway Patrol arrested Edwin Rumaldo Almendares Amaya in connection to the crash the next morning.

While they’re grateful to see someone behind bars, Ramos says it doesn’t make the loss any easier.

“I’m glad that justice brought but nothing can bring him back, nothing can bring his smile back,” she said. During the suspect’s first appearance, the judge spoke to 36-year-old Almendares Amaya through an interpreter. He’s charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, and driving without a license. The judge set his bond at $800,009 and because he’s not a United States citizen, if he does make a bond, he will have to wear a GPS monitor and surrender his passport. He’s due in court again on June 20.

When Action News Jax asked about this suspect Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a spokesperson referred to him by a different name, saying he’s from Honduras and has been deported three times previously.

ICE has filed a “detainer” request, meaning he will be turned over to federal custody if he is released from the Florida justice system.

A Gofundme link for the family can be found HERE.

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