Police ID victim in AC wheelchair hit and run

July 10, 2012 3:52:16 PM PDT
Police have identified the man who was crossing the street in his wheelchair when he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver in Atlantic City Monday night.

It was approximately 9:30 p.m. when 45-year-old Daniel Tavarez was crossing the crosswalk at the intersection of Route 30 and Pennsylvania Avenue in a wheelchair.

That's when police say an oncoming vehicle struck Tavarez. After hitting the victim, the driver of the vehicle took off.

Tavarez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Danny's friend Mark Anthony says he loved him like a brother and there was something about the sound of the impact that made him come running.

Somehow, inside, he knew it was Danny.

"He was laying on the street because someone was speeding recklessly in these streets and killed my brother," Anthony said.

Danny Tavarez faced a long struggle after falling off a four-story building several years ago.

He lived in a high rise just a few hundred feet from where he was killed.

His sister, Mimi Torres, lives in the same building and also depends on a motorized wheelchair.

"He was the type of person that would go the extra mile for someone, he didn't have to know you," Torres said.

Danny was hit by a gray Nissan that was found abandoned at Maryland and Atlantic avenues about an hour later.

Police found the owner of the car and took him to the hospital for blood samples, a standard test for drugs and alcohol.

The man was questioned and released.

The police are now looking for surveillance video and other evidence that can put the suspect behind the wheel of the car at the time of the accident.

Danny's sister had a message for the suspect.

"How can you just leave a person on the ground and just leave them? I think you should get punished to the fullest extent. He was a person," Torres said.

Even at 9:30 at night, the intersection is well lit with plenty of street lights.

Residents of the neighborhood say they frequently have to dodge speeding cars here. The police are asking anyone who might have seen something to call 911.


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