Family of hit and run victim pleads for driver to come forward

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-03 00:49:12-05

OGDEN -- From all walks of life, the people who knew David Saures gathered to remember him.

They shared stories of a man with a big smile who would literally give the coat off his back to someone he thought may be more in need than he was.

"He (didn't) have a lot because he's homeless, but anything he had he would give it -- even if it wasn't anything much," said his son, Danny Rosas. "He would give it, just to make someone smile."

On Wednesday, Saures' family -- both blood-relation and the people who were with him on the streets -- hugged each other and cried as they struggled to understand why he died.

Saures, 56, was crossing Wall Ave. at 26th Street near St. Anne's Center on Christmas Eve, when he was hit by a car. The impact threw him 100 feet, police said. The driver, investigators believe, pulled over -- then took off, leaving him to die in the street.

"He was virtually left on the side of the road to die," said Saures' niece, Jamie Gonzales. "There was nothing. No compassion. The compassion he gives people, he didn't even get that. So it's really hard for us."

Wall Ave., the street that runs by the homeless shelter and rescue mission, is dangerous to cross. On Wednesday, FOX 13 cameras caught numerous people darting across the four-lane road, dodging cars to get out of the cold. The Utah Dept. of Transportation said that even though there is no crosswalk, it's an intersection and drivers must stop for pedestrians.

"It's bad down there," said Randy Biddle, who stays at St. Anne's and crosses Wall Ave. " There's no lights down there and a few times when I'm coming down there, I'll hear the people step on the gas and come flying through there."

In 2010, another man was killed near the rescue shelter on Wall Ave. near 27th Street. A UDOT spokesman told FOX 13 they will now conduct a traffic study to look at the possibility of installing a crosswalk or lights to warn drivers about pedestrians.

"That will take into account the vehicular traffic on the road, the number of pedestrians in the area, and other factors," said Vic Saunders. "That will give us an idea of the things we ought to do to see if we can improve safety at this location."

Members of Saures' family took some comfort in the idea of changes being looked at to prevent other deaths, but his son said he wants the driver to step forward. Ogden police told FOX 13 they had no new leads as of Wednesday.

Ogden police said they were looking for a dark-colored minivan with front-end and windshield damage. Anyone with information is urged to call the Ogden Police Department at 801-629-8221.