Surveillance video shows moments before hit-and-run that killed valet

10:24 PM, Jan 24, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Valet killed in hit-and-run

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Denver Police say the 2003 to 2005 white pickup has tinted windows and the Colorado license plate No. 895-VYF. They say the truck may have damage to the right front fender and bumper, as well as along the passenger side.

Police originally thought it was a suburban-type SUV, but have determined it was an extended cab pickup.

Investigators say 21-year-old Jose Medina was killed in the crash Saturday night as he was working as a valet outside the Rockstar Lounge at Lincoln Street and East 9th Avenue. Police say Medina was helping a driver out of their vehicle when he was struck by the truck, which was heading northbound on Lincoln. The truck did not stop, according to authorities, and witnesses told police Medina's body flew about 100 feet away from the scene of the impact.

The owner of Opal Restaurant showed 9NEWS surveillance video taken just minutes before the crash.

It does show a white extended cab pickup, but it's unknown if that is the suspect's vehicle.

Police are looking at other surveillance video taken from a residential building across the street from Rockstar Lounge.

"The last thing we heard was a bang. So we thought it was a gunshot, gunfire," Joshua Mukebay, who was working as a security guard at an apartment building across the street, said.

Mukebay says he saw the truck speed up after it hit Medina.

"So I looked down and we saw the guy lying in the street," he said. "And at the same time, the truck was passing 10th Street and Lincoln."

It was Medina's third day on the job with Rockstar Lounge.

His other job was at Good Times Burgers on Colfax.

"He's going to be missed, definitely," Good Times Assistant Manager William Mason said.

Mason says Medina's mother called the restaurant on Sunday morning to say Medina wouldn't be at work.

"It's really sad not to stop, or not find out if the person is OK," Mason said, regarding the hit-and-run.

Mason says Medina was like family to the employees at Good Times.

"He was just actually talking about having some kids, not even a week ago, so this is really, really unfortunate," Mason said.

Police say a taxi driver followed the white truck and provided police with the vehicle information.

The Denver Police Department and taxi drivers have recently teamed up for a program called Taxis on Patrol in order to have the drivers act as "first responders" to suspicious activity on their routes. It is unclear if the taxi driver who followed the pickup was a part of the program.

Medina's friend and family attorney says the family is in shock over the tragedy

"It's a pretty tight knit family," Gabriel Schwartz, the family's attorney, said. "They're mourning heavily. They're grieving this tragic murder."

Schwartz says Medina was working extra hours as a valet to save for his fiancée's birthday present.

If anyone has information regarding this case, contact Denver Police Traffic Investigations Bureau at 720-337-1000 or call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can text to CRIMES (274637) with the title DMCS, and enter your message. If the information you provide leads to the arrest and charging of a wanted individual, you can receive a cash award up to $2,000.

The Medina family is also taking donations to help pay for funeral expenses.

Donations can be made at the 13 metro area locations of the Colorado State Bank and Trust with the following information:

The Law Offices of Sandomire & Schwartz
For the Benefit of Jose Medina
Account No. 8093874893

Donations can also be mailed to 3610 E. 1st Ave. Denver, CO 80206 with the same information.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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