FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth police are asking for the public’s help identifying the suspect driver or vehicle responsible for a hit-and-run that led to the death of a grandfather.
On Friday evening at around 9:50 p.m., 74-year-old Juan Garcia lawfully crossed the intersection of Vaughn Boulevard and Avenue H in the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood, police said. That’s when a vehicle struck him and fled.
Garcia died at the scene, just steps away from his home. According to his son, Andres Garcia, Juan’s grandson discovered his grandfather lying on the road in the 1500 block of Vaughn. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Garcia died of blunt force injuries.
The family told WFAA they’re devastated and want the person responsible to come forward.
“I haven’t been able to leave my room,” Andres said.
Andres said “Don Juan” liked to take nightly walks to avoid the heat. His sudden loss has been difficult to process due to the fact that the suspect is still out there, Andres said.
“Who’s to say it won’t happen again?” Andres said. “How’s that person able to live with themselves knowing they ruined our lives? Do what’s right and just confess to it.”
On Wednesday, Fort Worth police released footage of the suspect’s vehicle fleeing the scene. The video shows a dark SUV quickly took off.
Juan Garcia had 10 grandchildren, with an 11th on the way. On Sunday, just two days after his death, he would’ve celebrated 51 years of marriage. He loved to gamble, so the family planned to take him and his wife to Vegas.
It was something on the grandpa’s bucket list.
Instead, the family spent the weekend planning his funeral services. Looking ahead, they want the person responsible brought to justice and safety improvements along the busy road where he was killed.
Prior to Juan Garcia’s death, the City of Fort Worth announced a partnership with Main Street U.S.A that aims to revitalize Fort Worth’s Poly neighborhood. Under the pilot program, the city will dedicate $650,000 toward revitalizing the Historic Northside and Polytechnic neighborhoods.
Garcia will be remembered for his outgoing personality and ability to bring joy to those around him, Andres said.
“That’s gonna be the main thing we miss... sitting on my porch and seeing him drive up and down the street, him always being around, always being close,” Andres said.
The family has set up an online fundraiser to cover funeral costs.
If you have any information on the suspect vehicle or its driver, you’re asked to call police at 817-392-4887.