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Elderly Man Killed In Williamsburg Hit-And-Run Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An 85-year-old man was struck and killed by a box truck in Brooklyn Monday afternoon.

Raphael Nieves -- known as Raphe -- was crossing Grand Street near Lorimer Street towards a building he owned when he was knocked down and run over around 1:00 p.m. The driver of the box truck didn't stop, according to police.

Nieves was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

Maritza Nieves is mourning the sudden loss of her father.

"He was our leader, our guardian, he provided for us," she told CBS2's Tracee Carrasco. "He will be dearly missed."

Romer Ruez runs a hair salon in the Williamsburg building Nieves owned. He tells 1010 WINS' Al Jones that Raphe was like more than a landlord -- he was his friend.

"He was in the building for a long time," he said. "He was a good friend for everybody. Everybody loved him."

Those who knew him say Nieves was a well liked fixture in the neighborhood.

"He was my landlord and he was a wonderful man," Williamsburg resident Juan LeBron said. "A great person, helped everybody, had no problems with nobody."

Nieves's family tells CBS2 the victim was a military veteran. In addition to daughter Maritza, he leaves behind a son and five grandchildren.

Residents say Grand Street is heavily traveled -- often by trucks looking for a shortcut.

The investigation is ongoing as police search for the vehicle that fled the scene.

© 2017 CBS Local Digital Media

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