SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU - A San Jose man is dead and police are looking for the driver responsible. The coroner identified the man killed as 59-year-old Sal Mejia. He was not in a crosswalk.
A neighbor says he was killed doing what so many of them do, crossing Ocala Avenue near Bermuda Way in East San Jose to re-park his car on Wednesday night.
"The impact was so loud it sounded like a big bang," said neighbor Monica Ruiz.
Mejia was fatally struck around 10:30 p.m. in the street in front of his home and next to the Overfelt High School baseball field.
"He was going to bring his car here to go to park it here in his driveway to go the store and buy food," said neighbor Angelica Isais. "So when he was crossing that's when he got hit. His shoe was on this side and his body was where the tree was at."
Isais says she heard a loud bang and came outside to find a bloody scene with her neighbor lying face down in the middle of the street and his wife next to him hysterical.
"She was just screaming, crying," said Isais. "She didn't know what to do. She was beside the body."
Police haven't confirmed a witness account that the driver turned off the headlights while driving away.
Investigators don't know if a man or woman was behind the wheel but are sure the driver intentionally left the scene.
"This person knew they hit another human being," said San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia.
Police are looking for a damaged minivan, either a Chrysler Town and Country or a Dodge Caravan model year 2001-2007.
Neighbors say cars here drive very fast and don't always respect the traffic lights.
This marks the 14th pedestrian killed in San Jose this year in an auto accident, a number which has been declining in recent years.
At this point, the driver is facing a minimum of felony hit and run charges.
Anyone with information about the suspect or vehicle that struck Mejia is encouraged to call San Jose police Detective Kevin McMillin at (408) 277-4654. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call (408) 947-7867.