Castaic hit-and-run: Family distraught after tow truck driver is fatally struck

CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) -- A car plowed into a tow truck driver while he was on the shoulder hooking up a vehicle on the 5 Freeway near Castaic, and his grieving family is pleading for the hit-and-run driver to come forward.

"I don't know, how could you sleep with this," said Loida Geremillo-Gutierrez. "You killed someone and just left him on the road, just left him like that and, you know, he has a family."

Geremillo-Gutierrez is praying her words reach the hit-and-run driver who killed her 47-year-old brother Erwin Mendoza.

"I've been praying that the guy will be caught so my brother will get the justice that he needs to have," she said.

The driver of a big rig hit Mendoza on the shoulder of the southbound 5 Freeway at Vista Del Largo Road, just north of Castaic at about 8:20 p.m. Friday.

Mendoza was hooking a vehicle up to tow it when the tragedy happened. Geremillo-Gutierrez said her brother had always told her his job came with the danger of possibly getting hit by motorists. Knowing someone hit her brother and left him on the road to die is simply too much to bear.

Geremillo-Gutierrez said her family was set to celebrate the birth of her brother's grandson in September. She said her brother's son and his wife were eager to enjoy that moment with the family.

"He won't see his first grandkid. He's having a grandbaby soon and he won't see him," she said.

The victim's family needs your help catching the hit-and-run driver. Call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers with tips at 1-800-222-TIPS or 1-800-222-8477.
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