Family grieves over teen killed in hit and run accident

Posted at 11:24 PM, Nov 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-04 01:24:46-05

OGDEN, Utah -- Ogden Police are asking for the public's help locating the person responsible for the deadly hit and run of a teenager over the weekend.

Joe Martinez was found dead on 200 West and 17th street Saturday night.

"He was the best kid in the whole world, this is so sad that this had to happen to him it's not fair, he was just beginning his life he just turned 16," said Martinez's grandmother Kelly Wilkinson.

Martinez was riding his skateboard to a friend’s house, just before 11 p.m., when police say he was hit by a vehicle.

Police say the vehicle left the scene, leaving Martinez in the middle of the road, where he was hit by a second vehicle.

Wilkinson said she knew something terrible had happened as soon as she made contact with police.

"They showed me his skateboard and it was cut in half and they asked me what he was wearing and I told them and I said, 'is it him' and they said 'yes,'" said Wilkinson.

The incident happened outside of Robert Cole's home.

"We heard a big boom, like somebody plowed through a whole trail of trash cans," said Cole.

He said the second driver, admitted to hitting Joe, called 911 and waited for police. Cole said another man also approached the scene, but quickly left. Cole is not sure if this man was driving the first vehicle that hit Cole.

"He looked at the deceased and said to himself well he's still alive and so we got on the phone and started calling 911 and we didn't even notice this guy started walking back away he got in his truck and left," said Cole.

Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have collected evidence found in the street, and are also in the process of looking over security video taken from nearby businesses.  Police said the second driver is not facing any charges in this case.

Back at Kelly Wilkinson's house, the family surrounds themselves with Martinez's favorite belongings.

"He'd play his guitar and it would just melt your heart," said Wilkinson.

This family says they won't have closure until the person responsible for Martinez's death is in custody.

"They've got to have some kind of heart to come forward so we can be at peace with this," said Wilkinson.

Martinez's family said they plan to honor him by getting heart tattoos with Joe's name inside. They also said Martinez had just become an organ donor this past August, which they say really embodies his personality, because he was a very giving person.