NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a man who was killed in a Queens hit-and-run is fighting to keep his killer behind bars.
George Gibbons was killed early on the morning of Oct. 15, 2011, after closing his bar The Gibbons’ Home.
A Chrysler Sebring being driven by Peter Rodriguez slammed into the livery cab that Gibbons was riding in on the Long Island Expressway service road in Woodside.
Gibbons was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Rodriguez fled the scene and was tracked down a month later. He pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident. He was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison.
Now, Gibbons’ family is asking the community to submit letters of support to ensure that Rodriguez serves his entire sentence.
“We need to fill the courtroom, it needs to be a sea of green. We’d all wear green in support of George. So what we’re asking for now is letters to be sent to the parole board, basically from friends, family, anyone. We’re asking for the help of the community because we want to continue our power in numbers,” George’s sister Bernadette told 1010 WINS.
Rodriguez had been jailed over a dozen times and was out on parole when he killed George, Bernadette told IrishCentral.
She was shocked that he that was up for parole.
“It’s unbelievable and very sad and very frustrating to me and to our family to even think that he would be given the opportunity. It’s scary to be honest,” she said.
Bernadette called her brother a “remarkable man with a zest for life.”