Park Street Hit-And-Run Victim Angel Arce Torres Dies
May 12, 2009
Angel Arce Torres, the Hartford man struck by a hit-and-run driver on Park Street a year ago, died Monday evening at Hartford Hospital. He was 79.
Torres was paralyzed from the neck down in the May 30, 2008, accident, which drew unwanted national attention to Hartford as video images showed Torres lying in the road as bystanders appeared indifferent to his plight. He had been crossing Park Street after buying some milk and was struck by one of two cars apparently racing on Park Street.
Torres died about 9 p.m. Monday, with his family gathered around, his son Angel Arce said.
"He died peacefully," Arce said. "We all were standing there."
Torres, who needed a ventilator to breathe, had been at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, but was transferred back to Hartford Hospital several months ago when a host of medical problems began to emerge, Arce said. His kidneys were failing and he was no longer aware of who was there, his son said.
"He was just laying there all day," Arce said. "My father wasn't responding to anything." So the decision was made to remove him from the ventilator that sustained him since the accident. "That was the only thing keeping him alive," Arce said.
Arce was adamant that it wasn't the removal of life support that ended his father's life.
"Those guys killed my father," he said of the drivers racing along Park Street a year ago. And he prays that people who know who is responsible will step forward with information that brings the drivers to justice.
Police "have been working real hard and they keep in touch," Arce said. "They're trying their best. It's the community. There are a lot of people out there hiding these" men.
A $10,000 reward has been established for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Finding them remains a priority, Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said Monday night.
"We'll never give up," Roberts said. "Somebody knows. We just need them to come forward ... so we can give the family some peace."
Arce said he is confident police will find those responsible. "Sooner or later it's going to happen," he said. "I'm not giving up."
In addition to the video shown nationally, police had access to videos of the accident as well as witness accounts that have led them to believe they are looking for a Hispanic man, aged 20 to 28, with dark hair. Police think the car involved in the incident was a late 1980s or early 1990s dark-colored Honda Accord or similar vehicle, such as a Nissan Sentra or Toyota Corolla. The car is a sedan, possibly maroon, and may have aftermarket wheels and an aftermarket cover on its headlights, police have said. The car may also be missing its headlights, police said. No description was given for the second car.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hartford police tip line at 860-722-8477.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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