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Charge upgraded against accused hit-and-run driver after victim dies

Alkiva Douglas, 19, taken off life support Wednesday

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Charges against an accused hit-and-run driver have been upgraded after the 19-year-old victim in the case died on Wednesday, authorities said.

Philip Varsam, 28, now faces a charge of a leaving the scene of a crash resulting in a death.

Varsam was arrested Monday, a day after authorities said he struck Alkiva Douglas with his car while the teen was riding his bicycle in the 6700 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

"He couldn't do anything for himself. He was just lying there," Douglas’ aunt, Stephanie Wright, said. "I mean, he's not even 20. He was just lying there. I can't imagine how you can hit somebody and just drive off and not even think about that person's life."

Douglas was taken to Broward Health North in critical condition and was taken off life support on Wednesday after his siblings arrived from Jamaica to say goodbye.

Varsam is expected to appear in court on Thursday.


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