An El Salvador born man and a father of five kids, Julio Sandoval has died after getting hit by two drivers who fled scene.
Police said an eyewitness saw a red Toyota Sedan stop, then take off after hitting Julio on Singleton Road, near Thompson Parkway Friday night.
Sandoval’s sister, Maira Sandoval Ruiz, is pleading for answers.
His family members are trying to raise funds to send his body to El Salvador, which could cost up to $10,000.
“He was one of my brothers who looked at life with a very positive outlook,” she said in a Spanish interview that has since been translated to English by reporter Paola Suro.
Maira is now trying to hold onto some of her brother’s positivity through the darkest of times.
“We come from a very humble – but hardworking, strong family. Well, we’re forced to be strong now and live through this difficult, unimaginable loss,” she said.
Gwinnett County police said Julio was crossing Singleton Road, near Thompson Parkway Friday night, when a car hit him and took off.
Then, a second car hit him, also leaving the scene.
“We can’t bring my brother back with what they have to say but it will help bring us peace if anyone has any information on what happened that night,” Maira pleaded.
Julio died at the scene, leaving his parents, ten siblings, and five children behind. One of his children is only 13 years old.
“If you saw anything that night – think of my nephew. His youngest son was the light of his life. Now, he’s an orphan. He has nobody to turn to because his mother is in El Salvador,” she said.
Out of 11 siblings he was the oldest. Maira said he was also the most positive and the one they looked up to.
Sandoval was hardworking and had recently saved up money to move back to El Salvador, where he’s originally from and where two of his five children live.
“He used to work on people’s yards for many years, and now was working for a company putting cables under homes,” she said.
Now, the family is raising money to try and make that last wish of his come true.
“He was working hard to save money – like most immigrants who come to this country, to fight for a better future,” she said. “We’re told that sending his body to El Salvador could cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000.”
Maira said her brother was very close to his parents, who still live in El Salvador. Regardless of the distance, he used to always call them.
“He was constantly battling to push forward… he was very affectionate with my parents. He used to always call my parents that’s why my parents aren’t doing well right now,” she explained. “We don’t tell my father any details on what happened because he has heart problems… he is already suffering so much.”
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