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‘Didn't deserve this': Grieving Winchester family seeks help locating hit-and-run driver who killed father of 7

A devastated family in Winchester is pleading with the public to help them identify the driver who struck and killed a beloved father on Monday.

“He didn’t deserve this … my kids didn’t deserve to have their dad taken away,” said Myra Basulto, whose husband Gilberto Sotelo was killed in front of her.

Sotelo, 38, is remembered for his selflessness and work ethic, in which he worked hard to provide for his family. He leaves behind seven children, ages 2 to 18.

“A great man,” Basulto said of her late husband. “He was willing to do anything and everything for anybody.”

The two had been sweethearts for nearly 20 years, according to the widow.

Sotelo was struck by a hit-and-run driver around 1:30 a.m. Monday. According to the victim’s wife, the gas gauge on Sotelto’s vehicle was broken so he ran out of gas on the should of southbound 215. After calling his wife to bring him gasoline, Basulto went on her way along with their youngest child.

“I parked behind his truck. His truck was very visible, it’s a big, lifted truck and his hazards were on the right shoulder,” Basulto recalled. “And he started pouring the gas. He wasn’t even there a minute and I was just looking at him. I just see something – a car just flew. I know they were speeding and the car came to the shoulder.”

The heartbroken widow said she ran toward her husband’s truck and found him unresponsive.

“I started going into the freeway and tried to flag people down,” she said. “Nobody stopped to help me. I was just there.”

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the driver, who is believed to have been traveling in a Honda SUV or truck, did not stop. The investigation is ongoing.

“If this person fell asleep or was drunk, whatever it may be, we honestly believe in our hearts there was no mal intent,” said Jesus Sotelo, the victim’s brother.

While the victim’s loved ones continue to mourn their loss, family members set up a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of Gilberto’s funeral expenses. In the meantime, Basulto hopes anyone with information will come forward.

Those who know more about the case are encouraged to contact CHP’s Riverside office at 951-637-8000.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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