Chula Vista Police search for suspect in fatal hit-and-run - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista Police search for suspect in fatal hit-and-run

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Fermin Cruz is seen in these photos on the left. Fermin Cruz is seen in these photos on the left.

CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - Chula Vista police are asking for help from the public as they search for the driver responsible for a deadly hit-and-run in Chula Vista.

According to police, on Jan. 22, at about 6:45 p.m., a vehicle struck and killed Fermin Cruz, 42, as he crossed the street near Broadway Avenue and G Street in Chula Vista. Cruz died at the scene and the suspect vehicle did not stop after the collision, fleeing the scene toward H Street.   

“We are missing a big part of this because the striking vehicle, the red SUV, didn't stop and there were numerous other vehicles traveling behind that didn't stop either,” said Lt. Kenny Heinz with the Chula Vista Police Department. “We're asking anyone in the area traveling through to give us a call so we can get their statement as well.”

Police went door-to-door speaking with business owners in the area. Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a red SUV. A local business near the scene had video captured by a nearby business' surveillance system that showed the suspect vehicle with possible front headlamp damage.  

Evidence left at the scene and the video evidence showed the red SUV may be a 2002-2005, 4-door Ford Explorer. 

“At medium speeds when you strike an individual it's a big collision. We believe the person had knowledge they hit something, but can't say for certain that they hit a person,” continued Lt. Heinz. “So that's why it's really important that we talk to them and others that were around.”

Cruz is described as a family man who enjoyed art, music, cooking and his family. He was married to his wife for 19 years and was planning a trip to visit his family in Puerto Rico.

His family is raising money for his final expenses and hoping for justice. To help in that effort, a GoFundMe page has been established to help Cruz's family with memorial costs.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information about the collision or the suspect vehicle, to contact the Chula Vista Police Department Traffic Unit at 619-409-5440, CVPD Dispatch at 619-691-5151 or the on-duty CVPD Watch Commander at 619-476-5374.  

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