Victim's family asking for eyewitness to come forward

HOUSTON Dana Burkett was killed during a street racing accident, but his wife didn't learn about it from state troopers. The widow of the man killed is asking for anyone who might know the person last seen speeding from the scene to turn him in.

For the last week, grief is the only thing the Burkett family has known.

"It's like a bad dream," said Rene Burkett, Dana's husband.

Last Wednesday night, a company seeking to get Dana Burkett's organs donated called their home. It was the first Rene had heard of her husband's death.

Investigators say 55-year-old Dana was killed while street racing on a stretch of Highway 249 south of Magnolia. He was ejected after losing control of his Corvette when it hit a curb where three lanes merge to two. Authorities say the other driver fled.

"My family and I feel that he needs to man up to his mistakes," said son Devin Burkett.

The family says the other driver saw what happened and took off anyway, leading them to a conclusion about his character.

"He's a coward. He's a total coward," Rene said.

The family wants that driver to come forward. They say that person is the only person who can say what happened that night.

"I need to know. We need to know," said Rene.

She says investigators tell her that eyewitness accounts vary, that some weren't sure whether her husband was street racing. She says he was a man committed to his family who would do anything for anyone. She admits he liked to race his Corvette, but always on a track and always under controlled, safe conditions.

Rene also says her husband never had a wreck before. She wonders if the other driver might have blocked her husband, keeping him from avoiding the curb.

If the other driver won't come forward, the family hopes someone who travels this road might be able to offer information that might point to him.

"We can't do it alone. We need help, need someone that knows this guy to please, please call and help us so we can start somehow healing," said Rene.

The car that sped away from the scene is fairly distinct, described by investigators as a light-colored, possibly yellow, newer model Ford Mustang or Dodge Charger. They say it likely had some noticeable damage, including a broken window and heavy scraping on its rims and undercarriage.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to call the Department of Public Safety at 800-525-5555.

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