ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight days of intensive hospital care, numerous surgeries, many units of blood, countless prayers and the constant lilt of Irish music were not enough to save an Edgewood cyclist critically injured in a hit-and-run crash near his home.
Michael Wolff, 56, was removed from life support Saturday at the University of New Mexico Hospital and passed away about 12 minutes later, family members said.
Wolff had been riding his bike on U.S. 66 near Barton Road around 7 p.m. June 6 when he was struck by what Bernalillo County sheriff’s investigators speculate was a commercial-style heavy truck. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has asked the public to call 505-798-7000 with any information regarding the crash and the truck, which probably has front-end damage, particularly to the turn signal or marker light.
The driver of the truck, who will now face a vehicular homicide charge, has not been identified, Bernalillo County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Aaron Williamson said Monday.
Wolff, his family said, devoted his life to working with the disabled despite his own disability from cerebral palsy. He had worked for 20 years with ARCA and most recently with the Independent Resource Center, both agencies that provide services to the developmentally disabled.
Wolff was also a musician with an Irish folk band and a board member of the Irish American Society. Susan Wolff, a sister and one of Wolff’s five siblings, said the family had hoped that hearing their voices and the sound of Celtic music might awaken him from unconsciousness.
“We never got to ask him whether he saw what hit him,” she said, adding that investigators have told the family that her brother may have been struck from behind and then run over by the truck.
Susan Wolff said the siblings decided to end life support after physicians told them their brother would most likely never breathe on his own.
“He knew what it was like to be disabled and still live life to the fullest,” she said. “We knew he would never want us to keep him alive if there was no hope that he could ever live independently again.”
Wolff was divorced and had no children. His beloved dog, Boris, has been adopted by a neighbor, Susan Wolff said.
Memorial services are pending and probably will not be held until next week, she said. He will be buried in northeastern Colorado, where his mother and three siblings live. The family has set up an account to help with financial concerns at Bank of the West, reference No. 035327031.