By Robin Rieger
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) – Security video from around 9:30 p.m. Monday night shows 45-year-old Daniel Tavarez in his electric scooter leaving the High Gate apartment building in Atlantic City to go to a local convenience store. Markings on nearby Route 30 indicate where Tavarez and parts of his scooter ended up after he was struck by a car as he attempted to cross the street at Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tavarez died on the street, and police say the driver kept going.
“My friend comes up and says, ‘Your brother got it hit by a car!’ I said, ‘No, no!’” recalls his sister, Marjorie Torres.
Torres, who also lives in High Gate and uses a scooter, got to the scene but wasn’t allowed anywhere near her brother. She is devastated.
“They would not even let me look at him. If it wasn’t for his sneakers and his scooter, I wouldn’t even have known it was him–he was so messed up,” Torres says.
Police say the driver of a compact Nissan left the scene, went south on Virginia Avenue, then left the car parked on the street at Maryland and Atlantic Avenues, where police found it unoccupied on Monday night.
“How could you just leave somebody? They should go to jail. My brother’s life is gone, a good person is gone,” says Torres.
Torres says her brother used the scooter often, following a fall about fifteen years ago from the Sands Casino’s parking garage. She says he was also battling AIDS. But even with all of his problems, he offered help whenever needed to friends and neighbors.
“It’s such a shame; he was a really good person,” says a neighbor at High Gate, Allean Smartel.
Tavarez’s sister says the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City is accepting donations to help his family with the funeral.