RICHMOND, Calif. - The family of a Richmond man killed by a hit and run driver is appealing to the public for help in finding the person responsible.
On Monday night, friends paid their respects to 41-year-old Cristobal Nunez-Reyes at a memorial in Richmond near the spot where he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The loss has left his loved ones heartbroken.
"He definitely let us know that he loved us. He always wanted the best for us," said Cristobal Nunez who is named after his father.
The 19-year-old wants the driver caught.
"I believe it's a lot worse and wrong for you to leave someone out there dying on the street."
On Thursday shortly before 4 p.m., Nunez-Reyes was walking across the street with a co-worker as they left a tire shop on 23rd Street near Roosevelt Avenue. They were headed to a nearby market.
Richmond Police say the driver of a gold color Toyota Avalon struck the 41-year-old and fled the scene.
In Spanish with the help of a translator, co-worker Carlos Ruiz told KTVU he was walking just behind Nunez-Reyes. He describes the feeling of helplessness as he saw the car hit his friend, that he was walking towards him. It was a never-ending walk. He felt like he was never able to reach him.
Ruiz says the car was speeding and the impact of the crash launched Nunez-Reyes into the air. He landed on his head and died at the hospital.
"It's a big hole in our hearts. all of us. So many of us loved him," says Bobbi Feyerabend, a friend and landscape architect who worked with Nunez-Reyes.
Friends and co-workers describe him as a talented and hard-working landscrape contruction worker who has been in the business two decades.
He was known for treating his work partners as family.
"We had such a nice time working together. He was like a little brother to me," says Feyerabend.
Nunez-Reyes leaves behind a wife and three children who say the loss is devastasting.
"I would hear his truck turning on for him to go to work and everything around the house is just not the same," says his son Cristobal, saddened by the callousness of the driver, "Cause they left the scene. Maybe if they had stayed, my father would be here with me."
Police have released photos of the suspect vehicle, a Toyota Avalon with a sunroof and rear tinted windows. It is missing the rear passenger side hubcap and has damage to the rear passenger door on the driver's side. There is damage to the front passenger side headlight and windshield area.
Friends hope the surveillance cameras in the area will help police identify and arrest the driver. They are raising money to help the family with expenses.