Nathan Gonzales Killed in Hit-and-Run on State Highway 19 in Trinity, TX
UPDATE (January 26, 2022): Reports have identified the victim of this accident as 36-year-old Nathan Lee Gonzales.
Trinity, TX -- December 25, 2021, a 36-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle in a hit-and-run on State Highway 19 in Trinity.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:20 p.m. along Highway 19 near Kelly Street. Preliminary investigation suggests that the victim entered the roadway and laid down in the lanes when a vehicle, believed to be a small Honda possibly colored dark green, hit him in the road and continued on without stopping. Investigators say the vehicle was last seen headed north toward Crockett on the highway and may have some damage to its front end.
The pedestrian suffered fatal injuries in the collision.
Police are currently seeking information about the hit-and-run vehicle and its driver.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Nathan Gonzales Hit-and-Run on TX-19 in Trinity
It's shameful and highly frustrating when incidents like this occur. Obviously tracking down the suspect and finding out why they left the scene are paramount, so it's vital that police remain diligent and community members come forward with any information they can provide to help apprehend the driver. There may not be many concrete leads so far, but it's at least encouraging that authorities seem to know roughly what kind of vehicle they're looking for and that it may have observable front-end damage. That's already a lot more than they often have to work with right after such accidents.
However, just knowing what kind of vehicle left the scene doesn't mean the driver is already as good as caught. It's important going forward to share any details and developments with the community so they can keep an eye out for the Honda and its operator. Keeping all the available information in the public eye often leads to someone connecting the dots and helping to identify the suspect. Sometimes that turns out to be a friend, coworker, or family member who recognizes the suspect's vehicle, but we've also seen instances where complete strangers or body shop workers have reached out to a tip line after spotting the car in public. That can take a little time to resolve itself, but I recently learned about a hit-and-run where the suspect was caught a full year after the incident because someone heard her boasting about getting away with it in a bar.
I am of course conscious that reports say the victim was lying in the travel lanes of the highway when the collision occurred. That in no way excuses the runaway driver for leaving the scene, but it's a further issue that requires careful investigation.
When--not "if," but when--the Trinity suspect is identified and taken into custody, hopefully investigators can gain some insight about why they chose to abandon someone they hit with their vehicle. Moreover, I hope that police also determine the reason the victim might have chosen to lie down in the roadway. I suppose some might jump to certain conclusions about that, but out of respect for the victim I won't speculate. As with any other investigation, it's best to let only the facts do the talking.
Ultimately I can't pretend to know either party's motives for their actions. For instance, the driver might simply have panicked and fled. However, in the majority of cases like this it's ultimately learned that they wanted to hide something from authorities. That might be illegal contraband, outstanding warrants, drunk driving, or something else, but it often means they choose to flee and hope they are never found out. Whether that's the case here too will require more time and further careful investigation, but as long as everyone does what they can I remain confident justice will be served for this terrible incident.