UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A grieving family and police in New Jersey joined forces Sunday night, seeking information about a driver who left the scene of a crash that killed a motorcyclist.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the aftermath was caught on surveillance video.
There were prayers and tears at the roadside memorial in Union Township, N.J. against a backdrop of a police roadblock. Everyone was there for the same reason – police searching for witnesses.
The accident happened around 9:55 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, when Carlos Gonzalez Ospina, formerly of Elizabeth, was thrown from his motorcycle on North Avenue in Union, according to Union Township police.
Ospina, the father of a 7-year-old son, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The family was demanding answers Sunday night.
“You just don’t leave a human being in the street,” said the victim’s sister, Mirabell Gonzalez.
But that was exactly what happened. A car pulled out into traffic on North Avenue, and sparks were seen as it hit Ospina’s motorcycle.
The motorcycle slid on through, but the rider rolled and tumbled to his death. What happened next had everyone upset.
“This person who was involved in the crash knew he was involved, stopped across the street got out of his vehicle walked up to the body, leaned over it, looked around, then backed away got into his vehicle and left the scene,” said Union Township police Lt. Robert Christie.
Thus, police asked drivers a week later if they saw anything, hoping the route fit someone’s weekly routine. The family says the answers are particularly important, given the horrific grief Ospina’s son feels.
“It hurts,” Gonzalez said. “It hurts a lot to try to answer his questions and not have the answers, because he asks ‘Why did Daddy die? Why did this have to happen to my daddy?’”
“He was a beautiful guy,” said Ospina’s friend, David Velez. “He was a friendly guy, a responsible guy. He was the best friend I ever had.”
As police enhance the images, they have been entertaining the possibility that the driver involved might have been a woman.
Police on Sunday were also seeking a specific driver they believe might have witnessed the crash.
Surveillance video showed a light-colored sedan pulling into a nearby Energy service station after the crash. The driver briefly got out of the car, bought $10 worth of gas, and made a left turn from the gas station onto North Avenue just before the accident.
The vehicle was believed to be a Mazda 6, a Chrysler Sebring or some other type of similar car, police said.
The driver is not believed to be the one responsible for the accident, but police want to interview the driver because he stopped briefly on the road just afterward.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Union Township Police Traffic Bureau at (908) 851-5070.
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