Updated: 08/12/2014 11:19 PM
Created: 08/12/2014 11:30 AM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
Gates Police tell News10NBC it didn’t take a long time to track down the vehicle they believe was involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash Tuesday morning. We’re told a call from a tipster led them to the damaged vehicle.
Twenty-year-old Joey Pacheco was walking on Howard Road just after midnight when he was hit and killed by a vehicle.
Pacheco was living with his uncle, Robert Ralston, just around the corner from where he died. “It angers me. How can somebody hit a young kid and just keep on going? I look for the reasons for it and I can't understand because it's not human to plow into somebody and keep on going."
His family says Pacheco was walking home from a coffee shop when he was hit. A witness apparently saw the car drive off, leaving part of the front bumper behind.
“I was sleeping. It was like maybe 3 a.m., and my brother came running into my house,” said Louanne Rivera.
Rivera says she last saw her son on Sunday night when he came over for dinner. She was almost numb with the news from her brother. Her son was dead, but what was even more horrifying were the circumstances surrounding his death.
“He walked everywhere. I guess he was hungry. I guess he was going to Tim Hortons to get something to eat, was walking home and they hit him from behind and kept going," she said.
Rivera says her son was known as Joey to family and friends. The 20-year-old was the second oldest of seven children, and a young father to a nine-month-old son. His mother says he was kind and giving, the person who looked out for her and his five brothers and younger sister. She says she can’t believe someone would hit him and not stop to help him.
“I’m really hoping the cops catch him before I can because I’m really angry at this person. They just left my son on the side of the road," said Rivera.
Erika Rizzotti lives just down the road and says she heard a loud noise and came out to see paramedics on the scene. “They came out with a stretcher. They were giving a man chest compressions seemingly resuscitating him. I mean it looked terrible. My first thought was this man's not going to make it."
His family says Pacheco will always be remembered for his spirit of selflessness. Ralston said, “Joey was just out to take care of other people. He loved to help other people. If there was something that Joey could do to help people that's what pleased Joey."
Police know who the vehicle belongs to and are now questioning a number of people, but there is no work on the driver yet. However, Rivera is making an appeal.
“I just really, really beg them to do the right thing. I know it won’t change anything, but I think that it would give me some closure, and I’ll be able to move on. I wish I could talk to them and ask why? If it was an accident, why not stop? Why not see if you could help him,” Rivera said.
No arrests have been made yet.