Family of man fatally hit by car in central Fresno fighting for justice

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police are working to track down a white truck that they say Friday night, it hit and killed 53-year-old Ronnie Rodriguez, who uses a wheelchair.

"The back extended cab windows are tinted," says Fresno Police Det. Michael Buessing. "It has oversized four-wheel drive wheels on it."

The crash happened on this stretch of Brawley near the McKinley intersection.

Family members say Rodriguez had just left a store down the street and was on his way to get food.

According to detectives, he was on the right-hand side shoulder of the road when an extended cab GMC or Chevy truck slammed into him and then took off.

Rodriguez uses a wheelchair to get around and there was not enough room.

"Struck him from the rear, launching him forward, a good distance, probably about 100 plus feet, which indicated a higher speed than the posted speed limit," Buessing said.

As Rodriguez lay on the ground, his sister, who lives down the street, ran to his side. He died at the scene.

The family is devastated by the loss of the man they said was like a father figure to many in their community.

"He always took care of his friends and people in the neighborhood," says Carlos Rodriguez, Ronnie's brother. "If they needed a dollar or whatever, he would help them out. He was that kind of person."

Loved ones are now demanding justice. They have a message for the driver that took their loved one's life.

"If you are out there listening to this, do what is right, dude, and turn yourself in," Carlos said.

The family also wants change. They're asking the city and county to extend the Brawley shoulder by about four feet to give pedestrians better accessibility and safer travel.
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