"Please turn yourself in": Family of man killed in hit & run beg suspect to come forward
UPDATE (May 31st):
Chattanooga Police say in an email, "It has been determined through investigation that the driver in this incident is not at fault. However, CPD Traffic Investigators need to speak with driver of the vehicle in this case. The vehicle involved is a 2010 - 2014 black Hyundai Sonata."
Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding the identity of this driver or incident to call 423-698-2525.
He was only 36 years old. He loved food, hanging out and, most importantly, his family. His name was Roderick Jones and he was hit and killed by a driver, who fled the scene.
"The last thing he told me was how good my lasagna was," said Shamica Jones, the victim's oldest sister. Roderick was the youngest out of three.
"He sorta liked video games," said Latrece Jones. She's the middle child. "He really liked to chill."
Angie Ponder, Roderick's mother, says she's been frozen since learning of her son's death.
"Just trying to take it one day at a time," she said. It's hard for his nieces, 12-year-old Kiriyana Bullard, and 8-year-old Amaiya Holland.
"Fun," Bullard described her uncle.
"He was happy and a fun uncle," added Holland.
Jones was on his way home from shooting pool with his uncle. Chattanooga police officers say a black male with a short haircut ran Jones over early Saturday morning near the 1300 block of Ely Road. The driver fled the scene and Jones died at the hospital. According to family members, he wasn't the only loved on who was in the hospital that night.
"Their father is in the hospital, his name is Roderick also," said Ponder. "He has lung cancer. They thought it was him in the room, but it was my son."
Roderick Jones Sr. called Shamica right away. She told NewsChannel 9 what her father said.
“'There was another Roderick Jones in the room and I thought it was you,'" said Jones, quoting what her father said doctors told him. He replied "That’s my son."
A son, brother. and uncle is now gone. To family members, it didn't seem real at first.
"They called a funeral home, I thought it was true then," said Bullard. Once it sunk in, it hurt.
"The fact that there is some guy who killed him and is still out there, that makes it harder to deal with," said Ponder.
"Maybe one day I'll forgive him for the accident," said the oldest sister about the suspect. "But I will won't forgive him for just leaving my brother like that, just to die."
They won't struggle to remember their loved one, but family members say they'll struggle to understand why the man who killed their loved one, won't come forward.
According to a spokesperson, police think the suspect vehicle is a black or dark blue 2010 to 2014 Hyundai Sonata. Jones's family says they've started a GoFundMe page to help with the funeral costs. If you would like to donate, you can find that link here.