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Family, Friends Mourn Death Of Man Killed In Hit & Run

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HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Funeral services were held Saturday for a man killed in a hit and run crash on the Palmetto Expressway the morning of Christmas Eve.

Tony Thomason's loved one said their last goodbyes at Memorial Plan Funeral Home in Hialeah. Meanwhile, Thomason's best friend was fighting for his life at Kendall Regional Hospital.

Thomason had driven to the Palmetto Thursday at about 6 a.m. to help his friend and roommate, Oscar Rodriguez.

Rodriguez had run out of gas heading northbound near S.W. 8 street. Suddenly a car slammed into the men and Rodriguez white Mercedes Benz. That person then drove away.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the impact was so violent car parts flew everywhere. The crash stalled traffic on the 826 for hours.

Both families want the person who drove away leaving both men for dead to face justice.

"It changed our entire family," said Thomason's cousin, Grace Angulo. "Christmas wasn't Christmas. It just wasn't. We can't believe he actually died doing what he's known for, which is, helping everyone."

Thomason's mother flew in from Nicaragua knowing only that there had been a terrible accident. It was only after arriving in Miami that she learned an unknown driver in an unknown vehicle had slammed into her only son, killing him instantly.

"He was my only son," she told CBS4 through sobs. "I don't know how I'm going to live without him in my life."

Meanwhile, Oscar Rodriguez's family also went to Thomason's funeral. His brother, Darian, told reporter Donna Rapado the 40-year old was in Intensive Care, unaware his best friend had been killed.

"He's very delicate right now. So, his health is the main concern," explained Darian Rodriguez. "He's done with his third surgery today. He's sedated. A lot of pain. But he's slowly improving."

Both families hope someone who saw or knows something helpful will come forward to police.

"Maybe they're running their mouth and talking about it," said Angulo. "You know, sometimes when people commit crimes like this they have usually somebody they confide in, their guilt. And we hope somebody does help both of the families."

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