ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — A family is in mourning after their loved one was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Arvin earlier this month. While the California Highway Patrol has since located the vehicle and driver, the family says they want to bring awareness about an important issue.
“He’s someone who would be your buddy and just want to sit next to you,” said Jennifer Reynoso.
Tony and Jennifer Reynoso say their brother Christian Javier Reynoso loved life.
“We just remember the funny things that would happen at the house. You know, when you’re a family of six, you spend a lot of time creating your own fun,” Tony said.
On August 19, the 24-year-old had come from Tracy to the Bakersfield area to meet with some friends and go dirt bike riding, his family said.
According to CHP, Reynoso was driving his dirt bike illegally on the roadway on Wheeler Ridge Road and Highway 223. CHP said for unknown reasons Reynoso made an unsafe turn while approaching a dark-colored SUV and clipped the side of the vehicle. CHP said the vehicle fled the scene.
Reynoso was ejected from his bike and died at the scene from his injuries.
Now his family is calling for change, saying tragedies like this should never happen.
“The biggest part for my family is that taking ownership, even if it’s an accident,” Jennifer said.
Christian’s brother Tony said he wonders if the driver had stopped and called 911 right after the accident, would life-saving measures have been able to help his brother.
“Leaving the scene of a crime, leaving the scene of a hit-and-run, not taking into consideration that that’s a human life out there, with people attached to him who love him,” he said.
Tony says he hopes by telling his brother’s story they might be able to prevent another family from the pain of losing a loved one.
“I know it’s not an easy situation for anyone, but I would hope more people would have a hero-like spirit to do the right thing,” he said. “Over half a million people experience this every year, this is a huge problem.”
While they know it won’t bring their brother back, they say if Christian’s story can help prevent another person from leaving the scene of a crash, then at least it won’t all be in vain.
“I know that he will be remembered as the wonderful person that he is,” Jennifer said.