Hit-run victim's family is looking for justice

January 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A South Valley family is looking for justice, and pleading for the public's help after a deadly hit-andrun accident.

A passerby found 58-year-old Joe Juan Gasca laying in the middle of the road near Goshen Avenue and Miller Park Court in Visalia.

Police say it's possible whomever hit Gasca did not see him. Sgt Paul Esquibel told Action News, "This area at this hour, there's not a lot of vehicle traffic or pedestrian traffic and last night my understanding the weather conditions it was very foggy and poor lighting."

Gasca was known as "Papa Joe" and most everyone who knew him knew he loved to walk. His son Joey Gasca often encouraged his dad to get a ride, or take his truck, but to no avail. No matter the weather, Joe Juan Gasca preferred to go on foot.

Joey said, "He was always worried about his weight you know he was trying to be in shape, the doctor told him it was healthy to walk he took that to heart."

The 58-year-old has walked to work for the past few decades and Wednesday morning was no exception. He got up early and started the hours long trek to the local printing shop where he's worked since the 70's.

Joey Gasca said he hopes someone will come forward with more information about the accident that took his dad's life. "I thank the passerby, but the person who hit him could have saved his life if he had just stopped."

His wife Sarah Gasca said, "This is somebody's family imagine how you would feel if this was your family we would like people to come forward if they know anything at all."

In the meantime, they're left with memories of Papa Joe, the man who coached kid's soccer, loved football, and was known as the "best grandpa" to his 9 grand children; and the one on the way, whom he'll never have the chance to meet.

His son said, "He was the man you want to grow up to be like."

Police are checking nearby businesses and contacting drivers who were out at that hour of the morning. If you've got any information, Visalia police hope you'll call.