Enrique Hernandez, 17, was walking to Tenoroc High School in Auburndale when a car struck him, and ended his life on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The driver will not face charges for the accident.
Auburndale, Florida-- A family was mourning the loss of 17-year-old Enrique Hernandez on Wednesday morning in Auburndale.
Hernandez was hit and killed while walking to school. Tenoroc High School is a couple of miles from his home at 710 Campbell Road.
Polk County Sheriff's Office said 50-year-old Prakesh Patel was driving a Dodge Caravan along Old Dixie Highway near Highway 92 West, and did not see Hernandez as he walked with the direction of traffic.
It was 6:30 a.m. and still dark outside. Hernandez, wearing dark clothing and listening to music through his headphones, was walking along the pavement because there is not a sidewalk there.
A neighbor saw the accident.
"I was outside and heard something. Then I saw the kid walking, and I saw the van hit the break and hit the kid hard," neighbor, Jeremy Johnson explained. "It threw him about 30 or 40 yards into a ditch."
"I ran over to see if I could help him but he was already gone," Johnson continured. "My prayers are with his family now."
Hernandez's family gathered at his home and comforted each other. His younger sister, 14-year-old Anally Hernandez, tried to talk with 10 News.
"Me and my brother were really close," she said. "He was supposed to be with me next month at my birthday party."
She cried on her aunt, Cristina Hernandez. She needed support.
"When I told Anally this morning, it was hard," said Cristina. "I said, 'your brother passed away', and she said 'where is he?', And I told her 'we can't see him yet', and she said 'what am I going to do without my brother?'"
They remember him as a caring, smart, and hardworking young man who took pride in his work.
"Oh my gosh, he was the hardest working kid," said Cristina. "He was harder working then any of his other family members. He would do construction, and he helped build my home- he was always offering to help people."
Cristina said he had just bought a new cell phone this week.
"He was bragging to us and his cousins that he got his new phone, just bragging, and they said, 'how'd you get that' and he said 'I worked for it'- and he did."
The driver will not face charges.
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