Family wants justice after fatal hit and run

April 1, 2010 9:15:12 PM PDT
A mother is upset and wanting justice after the death of her son, who was struck by a vehicle in north Houston and the driver sped off. She hopes someone saw something that can help find the person who was behind the wheel. Investigators say the victim was crossing the street at West Gulf Bank Road near Airline when he was hit just two days ago. The victim's mother is distraught as the family struggles to find answers.

"It makes me angry. It doesn't mean I hate him, it just means I hate what he did," said Bella Katherine Curtis.

Through her constant tears, she now prays at the spot where her son was killed and she wants for justice for her son. He was killed Tuesday. It was still daylight when Curtis Thorne was hit by a truck. Police say the driver didn't stop, leaving Thorne to die.

"I would never leave a poor soul like a dog on the street. That's what I feel like. I feel like they left my son," said Curtis.

Crossing busy West Gulf Bank was something 33-year-old Thorne did everyday and Tuesday was no different when he left his mother's pie shop to catch the bus. He'd spent the day helping at the family business where he was well known to customers.

"He loved everyone. He's the kind of person, being that we have a family restaurant he would meet customers and instantly fall in love with them. My mom always calls him her gentle giant and he was," said Thorne's brother, Jonathan Horak.

At 6-feet 7-inches and 300 pounds, the family says Thorne stood out. However, at any size, crossing West Gulf Bank is dangerous, says Ricardo Rodriguez. He says he would see Thorne cross every day.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez says he was here and heard a loud noise. He said he turned around and saw him on the street and a truck driving away. Rodriguez says the accident is tragic but says he's not surprised. There are no sidewalks on either side of the street and no traffic lights on the block to slow motorists.

Regardless how the death happened, Thorne's family wants whoever did it to turn themselves in.

"An accident is an accident. If the man had rendered aid, it would have been different. I mean accidents happen, but just to hit somebody and leave them there is wrong," said Curtis.

Authorities say there is a partial description of the vehicle - it was a tan pickup truck.

If you have any information in the case, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. You don't have to give your name and you could earn a cash reward.


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