Family remembers 25-year-old hit and killed in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. -- Grieving father Jesse Gonzalez is preparing to do the unimaginable.

After his youngest son was hit and killed by a runaway driver, Gonzalez and family will lay to rest, 25-year-old Jesse Lazalde.

"He changed my whole life, especially my heart," Gonzalez said. "He filled my heart full of love that I've never see before."

A cross surrounded by pictures and candles is what remains at Church and Golden state, where the Fresno High grad took his last breath.

The family describes him as selfless and a bright light took too soon.

"One day he took his shoes off and gave it to a homeless walking down the sidewalk, Gonzalez said. "I couldn't believe it. He would do anything for anyone."

It was 3 a.m. on December 26 when police were called to Church and Golden state in southeast Fresno.

They found Lazalde's lifeless body on the side of the road, and the driver that struck him was unaccounted for.

A witness, however, saw the crash and led police in the right direction.

"We were able to obtain video from the local businesses there, which gave us a glimpse of the vehicle," says Sgt. Dave Gibeault with the Fresno Police Department.

That glimpse could be just what they need. While it may be difficult to determine the make, model and license plate, distinguishing features on the raised pickup include large tires, a round nerf bar and a light bar mounted on the lower bumper.

"We're going through whatever steps we can to enhance the video and try to determine the vehicle and license on it," Gibeault said.

Lazalde was the 44th person in Fresno killed in a car crash and the 9th pedestrian for all of 2019.