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Officers continue search for suspect’s vehicle

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fatality carBy Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity Police Department is sifting through clues and numerous tips for the suspect in a Christmas day hit-and-run fatality.

Police Chief Steven Jones said the department appreciates the tips and information pouring in from the public; however, none of the information that has been provided has panned out.

“We’ve seen video footage from different locations, but they’re not high quality,” he said. “We do have a better idea of the vehicle description. We have followed cars as far as Grapeland, and had other vehicles followed by concerned people.”

At about 2:20 a.m. on Christmas Day, 36-year-old Nathan Gonzales, who was lying in the roadway near the intersection of Highway 19 and Kelly Avenue in the north part of Trinity, was struck by a vehicle which left the scene.

Reports indicate the victim lived in a nearby house and had been drinking with friends; Gonzales walked out on to the roadway and laid down on the double yellow line for unknown reasons.

A woman was driving southbound on 19, saw the man who was curled up in the fetal position, and pulled over to the right; at the same time, an 18-wheeler traveling northbound saw the victim, and pulled over to the right as well.

The truck driver saw another vehicle headed north and attempted to get the vehicle to stop; instead, the vehicle moved over to the middle of the road and apparently did not see Gonzales, Jones said.

The car struck Gonzales and then accelerated away from the scene, he said.

The vehicle is described as a late model sedan, possibly dark green, with some damage to the front of the vehicle. Leaving the scene of an accident involving death constitutes a felony, Jones said.

The police also have received the autopsy report and is following up on that information. The cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma, Jones said.

“We ask that people keep family and friend in prayers,” he said. “This was a horrible, tragic accident to happen on Christmas morning.”

Anyone with information that may lead to the identification of the driver of the suspected vehicle, contact your local law enforcement or Trinity County Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS (8477).

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