Manhunt for suspect after fatal hit-and-run in Escondido - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Manhunt for suspect after fatal hit-and-run in Escondido

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ESCONDIDO (CNS) - Authorities were on the hunt Tuesday for the driver of a white U-Haul-style box truck used in a hit-and-run accident that killed a 23-year-old man in Escondido.

Benjamin Ramirez, an Escondido resident known to walk in the area, was struck on Bear Valley Parkway west of Boyle Avenue around 10:10 p.m. Monday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office and California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt.

He had just left a friend's home after playing video games with co-workers from the nearby Albertson's when he was struck.

"The truck slowed down for a second but then continued westbound," Bettencourt said in a statement.

Paramedics took the gravely injured pedestrian to Palomar Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

CBS News 8 spoke with Benjamin's parents about the crash that took their son's life.

"I don't want (the suspect) to be in jail.  I just want him to come forward, explain what happened. Otherwise, we'll live with this mystery," Benjamin Ramirez Sr. said. "Why didn't he stop? My son didn't deserve to die like that."

Witnesses told investigators that the vehicle that struck Ramirez was a white U-Haul-style medium-sized box truck that made a loud rattling sound when moving, Bettencourt said, noting the vehicle likely has major front-end damage from the accident.

Anyone with information about the accident was asked to call the CHP office in Oceanside at (760) 757-1675 during business hours, or (858) 637-3800 after business hours.

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