Witnesses sought in deadly NJ hit-and-run

March 28, 2011 3:34:07 PM PDT
Police are looking for witnesses to a weekend hit-and-run that left a man dead in Camden County.

The New Jersey State Police say 61-year-old Wilfredo Ramirez, of Hi-Nella, was killed as he was walking on the southbound lanes of Interstate 295 near the Lawnside/ Warwick Road exit around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, about a mile and a half from the victim's apartment in Hinella.

"We just know he was walking southbound on Interstate 295, we don't know at this point where he was heading or why he was walking on the highway," New Jersey State Police Detective Fran McGovern said.

Wilfredo Ramirez Jr., the victim's son, says his dad had Schizophrenia, was on medication, and had been in a group home until about a day before the incident.

"My biggest question is why would you move him unsupervised to a place if he is unstable, obviously, he wasn't stable because he wouldn't be walking around 12, 12:30, at night," Ramirez Jr. said.

Ramirez Sr.'s social service agency said its client had opted to live in his apartment which was his right.

Why Ramirez walked into traffic may never be known, but police would like to hear from anyone who saw anything at mile post 30.5 at about 12:27 Saturday morning.

"We are searching for anybody that was a witness to this, anybody that may have seen or heard or had inadvertently struck Mr. Ramirez to come forward with any information so we can do everything we can to provide answers to the family," McGovern said.

There was no vehicle description immediately available. Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Det. Sergeant Fran McGovern of the New Jersey State Police at 856-931-5778.