Family remembers 83-year-old patriarch killed by hit-and-run driver in West Oakland

An 83-year-old man loved by his family and community was remembered Wednesday evening at a vigil held near the intersection where he was killed in West Oakland by a hit-and-run driver.   
Willie Jackson was one of three people killed in traffic collision in recent weeks.

A citizen group called Traffic Violence Rapid Response Team organized the event to bring attention to the victims.

Jackson's family members want justice.

They said it's hard for them to fathom how a driver can hit someone and leave the scene.  

During the vigil,  drivers honked in support as family and supporters gathered to honor Jackson and raise awareness.

Jackson's relatives said he was driving home when a woman speeding in a white Audie struck Jackson's Saturn.  

"For him to go this way, that's not right," said the victim's son Willie Jackson Jr, who's named after him.  

The driver left the area before police arrived.

Jackson died at the scene. Family members said the driver has not been arrested.

"I'm really angry because she didn't even call for help. She didn't call 911 or anything," said daughter Robin Jackson Townsend. "She had someone pick her up and took off. What kind of human being are you? Who does that?"

Rubble at the scene is all that is left of Jackson's Saturn.

His family said he was on his way home after delivering a meal to a relative.

His death was followed by two others, as a result of traffic collisions. 

Last Thursday,  a driver struck and killed a 35-year-old who was in the crosswalk at busy Piedmont Avenue and MacArthur.  The suspect fled the scene, but police made an arrest later.

The next evening, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a gunshot victim trying to  leave a crime scene in West Oakland.   

"I'm just heartsick. It's awful," said George Spies who said he helped start Traffic Violence Response, a citizen group advocating for safer streets.

Street vigils to raise awareness and demanding safety improvements.

"If we're just going to yell on street corners, we're not going to get the work done.  We have to do both. We have to draw attention to the problem and we have to work on the problem with the city to get the work done," said Spies.  

Jackson's family said their patriarch left behind two children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  They said he was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and longtime small business owner.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU