Family mourns hit-and-run victim

November 24, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The family of the victim is making a plea for the person who was behind the wheel to come forward.

It is likely police know the identity of hit-and-run driver because he left his vehicle at the scene before running away.

The intersection where it all happened has become a memorial to the young man who died.

At a corner marked by tragedy relatives and friends of Ivan Miranda offered tears and tributes to the man they knew and loved.

"I know he's gone, but I don't want to believe it," said Gabriel Miranda, the victim's brother. "So I don't know what to say."

The 24-year-old Miranda died around 5:30 Saturday morning after the silver sedan he was driving was struck by this black SUV at the corner of Division and Central Park.

The impact left the driver side of Miranda's car mangled. He never made it to the hospital.

"Brother, nephew, uncle, son," said the victim's brother, Alexis Miranda. "He left back a lot of memories. He was a very loving person."

Also injured was Miranda's 21-year-old brother Jovanni, who was in the passenger seat.

Relatives say Ivan Miranda had just finished work at a nearby Target store, where he worked in shipping and receiving, and was driving brother Jovanni to his job at Home Depot.

"He's always there for you," Gabriel Miranda said. "Take somebody to work, pick them up, you got an appointment you can't make it too. He has no problem, even if he's running on no sleep or anything."

Police suspect the male driver of the black SUV had been drinking.

After the crash, he left the vehicle and ran away.

"Just step up, man," said Alexis Miranda. "Accept the responsibility. You took somebody's life away, and it's not fair. Somebody has to pay for it."

"Coward. Scared. Man up. Real man. Be out here and step up for your responsibilities," Gabriel Miranda said.

The hit-and-run driver's passenger stayed behind and was detained by police, but eventually released.

Ivan Miranda's family wants justice, but for now they search for solace.

"I'm the oldest, you know. I'm the one who's supposed be gone first," Gabriel Miranda said. "And I hope nobody goes through this. Ever."

Jovanni Miranda, who survived the crash, was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in serious condition. Relatives said he is expected to survive. At this time, he is conscious and talking.

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