Edin Ismeldo Cruz, who was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Richmond Highway and Lockheed Boulevard the day after Thanksgiving, has died of his injuries, his family confirmed Sunday.
Police have said the driver of the vehicle, if caught, will most likely face felony vehicular manslaughter charges.
Cruz, 45, who left behind a 10 year-old daughter, Jennifer, was returning home Friday, Nov. 25, from Rincon Catracho, a restaurant located nearby that specializes in cuisine from his native land of Honduras. Although the restaurant advertises its hours as closing at 10 p.m. on weekdays, it was Thanksgiving Day. No one answered the restaurant phone on Sunday.
Cruz was on foot, returning to his home at Lafayette Apartments, which was within walking distance and where he lived with his sister, Placida, brother-in-law Efrain, and nephew, Efrain Jr.
At about 2 a.m., as Cruz crossed Route 1, he was hit in the intersection at Lockheed Boulevard by a northbound red SUV, possibly a late-model Jeep Cherokee. Police are analyzing bits of the car that were left behind. Police posted an electronic billboard just north of the scene in hopes the public can help find the driver.
Police said according to witnesses, the driver hesitated at the scene but did not stop to render aid or report the incident to police. Cruz was medevaced to the hospital. He died Friday at 4:55 p.m., Dec. 2, at Inova Fairfax Hospital, in Falls Church, his brother-in-law said.
On Sunday, friends and family were gathered at his home to remember a man they recalled as funny and kind, said his sister Placida. "He was just a beautiful person," said his brother-in-law. "He was funny," said his nephew. In addition to his 10-year-old daughter, Jennifer, of Fairfax County, Cruz also leaves his mother, who is hospitalized in Alto de Jesus, Honduras, Cruz's hometown.
Cruz, a construction worker, was at the restaurant that night with his brother Adis, his sister said. They had planned to leave together but Cruz said he wanted to hurry up and get home because he needed to get some sleep before going to work the next day, his sister said on Sunday.
Cruz would have turned 46 in January.
The family said Sunday they were unsure about funeral arrangements but hoped to hold a service locally and bury Cruz in Honduras. Placida's boss has started a Web site to seek funds for anyone who can help with expenses.
Police said the driver of the SUV should contact police right away and can call "911" or any non-emergency police number for Fairfax County.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, email at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.