LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man who was a first responder in New York City on 9/11 is now fighting for his life after a hit-and-run accident in Nevada on the anniversary of the attacks.
Mark Vobis, 53, was hit by a car and left on the side of the road fighting for his life. It happened just before 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.
Jennifer Vobis says her husband left for a bike ride just a half hour earlier after recently picking up a cycling hobby.
Around 8:30 p.m., she received a call from the University Medical Center that her husband was found unresponsive on the side of the road and was in their trauma unit.
“I didn’t know what to do,” said Jennifer through tears, standing near the scene of the crash Wednesday morning. “I just wanted to go to UMC. I couldn’t think straight.”
Henderson police said a driver hit Mark from behind, which knocked him off his bike, threw him to the ground, and destroyed the bicycle.
They confirm he was within the bike lane on the proper side of the road with a bike outfitted with a double flashing tail and headlights.
The date of the crime hits too close to home for the Vobis family. Mark was a first responder in New York City decades ago.
“Mark was a New York State court officer,” says Jennifer. “He was on the streets of Manhattan and also because he was around the courthouse, the criminal court, he was protecting the streets and helping people, providing first aid.”
On Wednesday, he remained “minimally conscious,” according to his wife, in a hospital bed with life-threatening injuries. Jennifer Vobis declined to comment on the specifics of his injuries but shares the family-wide concern that he may not recover from them.
“I see a perfectly healthy, functioning man who is laying there incapacitated, unable to communicate, unable to move,” Jennifer said through tears, recounting how her husband looks in the hospital. “It feels unjust. It feels hopeless. It feels really unfair.”
What would bring the Vobis family some closure, she says, is the arrest of the driver who hit the husband and father.
Henderson Police Officer and Traffic Investigator Marc Rasmussen said that’s easier said than done.
While he says people have come forward who responded to the crash after the fact, no one who saw it happen has come forward.
As of Wednesday, there are no leads, witnesses, video evidence, or vehicle descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle they were driving.
A video that has been collected from around the area is too dark or not quality enough to identify a suspect, says Rasmussen.
“(This case) is much more difficult,” said Rasmussen. “This is one of the few that we haven’t had any solid leads on, just solely based on the location. There’s no evidence on the road that would give us any indication of a suspect vehicle either. Those combinations make it a very difficult case to solve.”
Because of these missing pieces, the department is asking the public to help fill these gaps.
They urge anybody with relevant information, such as eyewitness accounts or dashcam footage of the crash, to contact them, anonymously or not, by calling the Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555, police dispatchers at 311, or the Henderson Police Department itself at (702) 267-5058.