Man killed while crossing the street with dog remembered as caring and compassionate; “a champion for the community”

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – For many people here in Rochester, Edgar SantaCruz was a man who devoted himself to help feed needy families primarily in the city’s Northwest neighborhoods.

Late last week, SantaCruz, and his dog, both died after being hit by a car. News10NBC talked to those who knew him well, and hears how he’s being remembered.

SantaCruz, and his dog, were killed Thursday night as they crossed South Goodman Street, and Park Avenue. His death touched many in the community.

“Anybody who knew Edgar knows what a loss this is, and what a tragedy it is,” said Mitch Gruber, Chief Partnership Officer for Foodlink.

Current, and former co-workers, are remembering SantaCruz just days after he was killed in a hit and run crash. SantaCruz most recently worked at Foodlink after partnering with the organization for the past 5 years. Gruber knew him well calling him a fine public servant

“Did everything with an incredible humble spirit. Truly in it for the service, and we were so happy to have him join the Foodlink team,” said Gruber.

He also tells us in the four months he worked there, SantaCruz was already heading the organization’s Lexington Garden Urban Farm. The farm helps feed people in the city’s Northwest neighborhood. SantaCruz had many plans for the farm.

“We were doing a planning process to potentially expand to different items. To offer some retail opportunities to maybe grow some different types of things there. That’s the work that Edgar was in the middle of planning when this tragedy happened,” said Gruber.

For five years, SantaCruz worked at the Cameron Community Ministries. Executive Director Olivia Kassoum-Amadou fondly remembers SantaCruz, who she called an extremely kind person.

“Very compassionate and caring. He really loved the community, and was always seeking out ways to help our organizations. Help people in the community, and so he was really a champion for the community. I would have to say that about him,” said Kassoum-Amadou.

SantaCruz was an Adult Social Worker at Cameron. Kassoum-Amadou worked with him for just over a year. The news of his death is still devastating.

“I just seen him and it was just disbelief. I still, you know I’m trying to wrap my mind around it, that this really happened. It’s is a huge tragedy, and such a huge loss to everyone who knew him,” said Kassoum-Amadou.

Cameron Community Ministries will now rename its Peace Garden, The Edgar SantaCruz Peace Garden. A park bench with an inscription on it in memory of him, will be placed there.

Rochester Police charged the driver with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. So far police have not released any new updates on this case.