Friends remember hit & run victim

Coworkers remember 34-year-old as honest, loyal employee

By Ashley Harding - Reporter
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The coworkers of a St. Augustine man killed in what police are calling a hit-and-run crash are speaking out.

34-year-old Juan Salazar was riding his scooter down US-1 near King Street early Friday morning when he hit a downed power pole, throwing him into traffic, where he was hit by a truck.

Police have since spoken to that driver, but they're still looking for that first vehicle who hit the power pole.

Michael Doyle was a co-worker of Salazar and is having a hard time dealing with the loss.

"I didn't believe it at first," Doyle said. "How could that happen to such an amazing, honest person?"   

Staff members at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant are heartbroken over the death of Salazar, their friend and coworker.

"It was just really hard to swallow," Doyle said.   

St. Augustine police are considering Salazar's death a hit and run, after he hit a pole that was hit by a car, throwing him into traffic, where he was then hit by another car.

Police believe a white or silver Mazda 6 sedan first knocked the pole down, but the driver took off without calling police.

Authorities are still looking for that vehicle.

Salazar's coworkers tell us he had worked at Acapulco for about five years.  

"You knew that he was the most honest," Doyle said. "Honesty was his best trait. Most fun-loving guy. He'd give you the shirt off his back. Last dollar. It's just hard."  

A valued employee during the day, he was also DJ by night, a hobby his loved ones say he took very seriously.  

"He loved doing it. He loved listening to new music and trying out new equipment," Doyle said. "He was just really passionate about it."  

Even though their friend is gone, Salazar's coworkers hope he is remembered. They also want answers.  

"Apparently this has been happening," Doyle said. "It's a string of things that have been happening in this town. We just need to see this come to an end. For Juan and for the rest of the families out there."

Channel 4 was told quite a few of Salazar's family members also worked at Acapulco, including his twin sister and some cousins. We're told everyone who worked there was very close to his family.

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