Fresno family mourns after losing loved one to hit-and-run

27-year-old Fernando Gaytan Jr.'s family is grieving after he was tragically killed in a hit-and-run collision on Monday night.

Video Transcript

NATHALIE GRANDA: No warning, Margot. The victim's family tells me Fernando Gaytan was headed to his parents' house to have dinner and see his two-year-old daughter. He was minutes away from his destination when he was struck by the suspect and left for dead. The heartbroken family placed a cross bearing Fernando Gaytan Jr's name near candles that marked the spot where the 27-year-old brother, son, and father was tragically killed in a hit and run collision on Monday night.

DANIEL GAYTAN: I just don't want to believe it's true, but it is.

NATHALIE GRANDA: Daniel Gaytan, the victim's brother, is grief stricken. He saw his brother Monday morning at work, then again later in the day.

DANIEL GAYTAN: I met him at the gas station. He asked for a Gatorade. I got him his Gatorade. And I told him, I'll see you later, bro. And I never thought it'd be the last time I saw him.

NATHALIE GRANDA: Gaytan says his brother was expected at their mother's house, but family members soon heard a loud crash around 5:00 PM.

DANIEL GAYTAN: My dad and my brother were working on our roof. They heard a loud bang, and he rushed into the room. And maybe not even two minutes after the loud noise we got there, and I was hoping it wasn't him. And when I saw the blue car, I saw him.

NATHALIE GRANDA: Police say Fernando was driving south on Pickford near Oleander when he was hit by someone in a Black Mercedes. The suspect left the car and also left the scene. Gaytan says they were told by detectives they may have leads on who may have been behind the wheel.

DANIEL GAYTAN: I'm sure they'll get them. I'm sure they'll get them. It's just a matter of time. That'll probably bring more closure to our family, too, knowing that he's caught.

NATHALIE GRANDA: Pictures show the family the victim leaves behind-- a wife, a 13-year-old stepson, and a two-year-old daughter named Bethany.

DANIEL GAYTAN: But after his daughter was born, he completely changed. All he wanted to do was be with this family. She points him out in the pictures. She thinks it's his birthday. And she doesn't know how to say Fernando so she calls him Tato. And every time somebody walked in, she said, Tato, Tato, Tato. And he just never walked in.

NATHALIE GRANDA: Now, the family has also set up a crowdfunding website to help raise money for the victim's family. That's already raised nearly $9,000. And anyone with any information on this case or the driver behind the wheel is asked to call the Fresno Police Department. In the studio, Nathalie Granda, ABC 30 Action News.