'He is such a treasure': Family demands justice after 90-year-old struck in hit-and-run

NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County (WABC) -- The family of an elderly man struck and seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in New Rochelle wants justice, as the manhunt continues for the driver.

Authorities say 90-year-old Alvaro Diaz was struck on Thursday, August 20, at 8:56 p.m. on Pelham Road and Shady Glen Court. His family says he was just returning from the market.

"My father was hit so hard that his shoes flew off his body, his bloodied clothing was cut off his body, his groceries went flying all over the road, there were pools of blood everywhere and he needed emergency transfusions, to say the least," a family member posted on Facebook. "He was left in the middle of the road like roadkill. He has sustained severe critical injuries all over his body not limited to a fractured cervical spine, head trauma, bicep/arm injuries, etc."

His daughter Denise said that anyone who's ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with her dad would quickly realize it only took a few moments for him to win you over.

"To know my father is to love him," she said. "He is such a treasure."

He remains in the hospital with a fractured spine, severe head trauma, and bruising all over his body.

"It's very difficult seeing my dad, who I view as a very strong man, in a very weak position," she said. "But his soul and heart are just as powerful, that was not taken away from him."

The grandfather of five was crossing Pelham Road when police say the driver of a white 2019 or 2020 Nissan Altima hit him and didn't stop.

"Just kept going like he was roadkill, a squirrel, like his life didn't have any intricate value," Denis said. "Like he wasn't a sentient being."

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Diaz was a civil engineer who still commuted to Lower Manhattan to work and who looked after and loves his family.

"He still power lap swims in the pool, offers to clean my gutter on a ladder," Denise said. "I'm like, 'Are you insane, dad?'"

The family is now offering a $7,000 reward, hoping someone know something, possibly at an auto body shop. The car was damaged, its side-view mirror nearly knocked off. As for the suspect, they have a message.

"Think of your own family, your parents, children, siblings," Denise said. "Think of society, have some integrity and honor, and do the right thing."

Anyone with information on the crash is urged to call the New Rochelle Police at 914-654-2220.

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