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Driver Sought In Deadly Hit-And-Run Accident In Hempstead

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police are hunting for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a teenager in Hempstead earlier this week.

During a birthday celebration Tuesday evening, 16-year-old Oscar Veliz decided to ride his bicycle across Clinton Street in Hempstead to retrieve a sweater at home. At 7:20 p.m., he was struck by a vehicle and thrown from his bike.

As the teen lay critically injured, the suspect sped away from the scene with the bicycle wedged under the car.

1010 WINS' Mona Rivera with the grief-stricken family


"The car that hit him -- the guy was swerving a little bit," Nesly Geffra said. "A piece of the bike I could still see was attached to the car and then I seen a wheel across the street."

Veliz was a junior at Hempstead High School, an athlete who loved math and was respected by teachers and many friends.

"Everybody just admired his freckles, his smile, his willing to just dance on the spot, no reason, crack a joke," brother Carlos Veliz told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan.

Oscar Veliz
Hit-and-run victim Oscar Veliz in undated photo (credit: Handout)

Witness Vondell Jemison said Veliz was nearly hit by two cars.

"The first car just missed and then the second car took him off the road and that was it," Jemison said.

Carlos found him lying in the street.

"Seeing the cops, I didn't think it was going to be my brother. I was just rushing to the scene trying to be nosy," he said. "When I got there a lady was like, 'A Spanish kid got hit...those are his shoes over there on the street.' When I saw them, his red shoes, I couldn't believe it."

Oscar Veliz was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries Thursday night.

The two brothers had been inseparable. Carlos, who's in college, said their mother, Yolany, instilled honesty and integrity, to live their lives with the highest values and morals.

"It hurts that someone could just do this and leave like that. Especially to him," Carlos Veliz said.

Police are appealing for help from the public in tracking down the hit-and-run driver -- who is believed to be a 20-year-old man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

The driver was last seen traveling eastbound on Jackson Avenue behind the wheel of a gold or tan 1998 Toyota Camry.

Recently Oscar signed on through a school club to become an organ donor. The Veliz family is praying that even in death Oscar will help save others.

Fatal Hempstead Collision
Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle similar to the 1998 Toyota Camry seen in the poster. (credit: handout)

Anyone with information is being asked to call 1-800-244-TIPS (8477) or a member of the Homicide Squad at 516-573-7788.

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