Vigil for father killed in hit-and-run crash

Vigil for father killed in hit-and-run crash

HANFORD, Calif. - Friends and family honored the father killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver. Raymond Romero Jr. died on Christmas while driving his family home from Corcoran. 

Police are searching for the driver and passenger who slammed into the family and then ran away. They believe the suspects are Abraham Chavez, 21, and Angel Castillo, 19. 

Zoe Barillos, 18, is the registered owner of the vehicle.

Those who attended the vigil Tuesday held candles and prayed for justice. About a hundred family and friends of Raymond Romero, Jr. gathered at the crash scene. 

"He was a good father to his boys," said the victim's aunt, Martina Cano. "They loved him. He was outgoing. He was a hard worker. Took care of his family. He was a good dad to his kids."

Romero's aunt said he was heading home from his grandmother's Christmas night, when police said a driver blew a red light slamming into Romero's Chevy Impala. 

Romero's pregnant, longtime girlfriend was also in the car and hurt. She was forced into labor hours after the crash and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

The couple's two kids and a cousin were in the back seat. All of them were under 10-years-old and injured. They were taken to area hospitals.

"The biggest thing I'm worried about is when I see my boys, that I have to tell them their daddy's not coming back. That he didn't make it through the accident," said the victim's girlfriend, Miranda Garza from her hospital room.

She said Christmas was their 13th anniversary as a couple.

Raymond's father said arrests can't come soon enough. "Turn themselves in if they get the opportunity, turn themselves in and just face it," he said.

Family and friends are planning a hot dog lunch fundraiser Friday and Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the crash scene near Hume and 11th. Proceeds will help the victim's family with burial expenses.

The family has also set up a GoFundMe account, if you would like to help: https://www.gofundme.com/nayduc-aunt


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