MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBS 2) — The hunt is on for a driver who struck and killed a beloved runner in Montclair, New Jersey and never stopped. Fellow runners and friends are stunned.
Racing shirts and a medal were placed near the spot where avid runner Doug Williams was mowed down in a bike lane by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday night.
“He was walking, facing traffic — which is what you should do — and it didn’t matter. Somebody hit him and somebody left,” Williams’ friend, Phil Coffin, told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
The 49-year-old man died after he was rushed to the hospital.
“It’s just amazing that a little decision about walking home can cost you your life,” John Fabbro, another friend, said. “Doug was just a very gentle spirit. He was a person you always wanted to be by — he was caring.”
Friends said Williams wasn’t running, but walking in the bike lane on Upper Mountain Avenue, coming home from getting pizza when he was struck and killed.
“We’re just hoping at this point that the person who did this will come forward and do the right thing and admit that they did hit him,” friend Lynne Mortimer said.
“For me personally, he’s been my running partner for about 10 years. We’ve logged a lot of miles together — just a really, really sweet guy,” said friend Ron Wolfson.
It’s a terrible loss for a close-knit running community that meets every Sunday. Williams had run many big races. Friends said he had even re-qualified for the Boston Marathon.
“We’ve shared many years and miles on the same roads he was killed on and we will always think of him. He will always be in our hearts and we love him and miss him,”
Friends say they won’t stop until they get justice for Williams, who is survived by his mother and sister.