Family of hit-and-run victim pleads for drivers to come forward

VISTA, Calif. -- A makeshift memorial has appeared near the spot where a North County man died after he was hit by two vehicles that continued driving without stopping.

It happened on Monday, just after 4:30 a.m.  Dean Alvarez had just picked up his morning coffee after visiting a friend's business and was crossing the street to have breakfast at Coco’s Restaurant for breakfast, something he did as part of his daily routine, according to his family. He was hit by a truck, and then a sedan, a witness told police. Neither driver stopped to help.

"He was loved by so many people. Every time he crossed paths with someone, he made a friend,”   his daughter Krista said.

Family and friends have placed flowers and a memorial candle at the corner of North Melrose and West Vista Way to honor his memory. His two daughters and his brother came out Wednesday to ask the people who hit Alvarez to do the right thing.

“Please turn yourself in so my family can have peace and comfort and closure,” Krista pleaded.

Police believe the truck was a 2015 or 2019 silver Dodge Ram pickup based on evidence left at the scene from the impact.  They have no description of the sedan other than it may have been silver.

"Knowing that our father was walking across the street and got hit by not one but two cars and not one person came forward is just horrible," Alvarez's other daughter said.

Dean Alvarez as seen is a family portrait provided by his family

The family is sharing their grief in the hope that someone who may have seen something will come forward or the people who hit him will come forward. But if they don’t, Alvarez's brother had this warning: “He was a human being. These people without a conscience need to come forward.  We will find you. I guarantee it.”

The family is holding a celebration of life ceremony for Dean Alvarez at the Oceanside Harbor on Saturday at 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

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