Mom says son wished to become organ donor before being killed in League City crash

LEAGUE CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Police continue to search for a hit-and-run driver who killed a teenager in League City, and the victim's mother is remembering him as a loving son.

Natali Ray spoke with ABC13 Eyewitness News via social media.

She called her 19-year-old son River Russell an incredibly kind and generous brother to his six siblings, and said he insisted he be an organ donor.

"Being a donor was very important to him, and he went on to register and specify that he wanted to donate every viable organ when his time came," wrote Ray in a Facebook post.

Russell died two days after he was injured in a hit-and-run crash on June 24 in the 1800 block of FM 270 South.

Police said when officers arrived, they found him lying near a ditch.

READ MORE: 19-year-old dies 2 days after hit-and-run crash in League City

"We never could have imagined that it would come so soon," continued Ray. "But in all of our heartache, I am so glad that someone else will get his heart. All of his organs will save lives, but his heart is a heart like no other."

In another social media post, Ray said her son "would do anything for anyone at any time."

"He made minimum wage and juggled multiple jobs to pay his own bills, but he never passed a Ronald McDonald charity box or declined the St. Jude's research donation at the checkout without donating absolutely everything he could," wrote Ray. "He did all of these things on his own dime and his own time, and he began doing them while he was still a child himself."

Police released a photo Thursday of a truck they believe hit Russell.

They suspect the large, white truck hit him around 3:40 a.m. Monday, and drove off.

Investigators said River was likely in a ditch for 10 minutes before someone called 911 for help.

They said they want to talk to the driver, and is asking anyone with information to contact Detective Thiara with League City Police at 281-554-1873.

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