Little Village family speaks out after patriarch killed in hit-and-run; driver still at large, police say

Mark Rivera Image
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Little Village family speaks out after patriarch killed in hit-and-run
A Little Village family lost a member who was a father, grandfather, great grandfather after being killed by a car.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Little Village family will celebrate Thanksgiving after losing a family member to a hit-and-run.

Eliseo Mendoza, 86, was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather who died from injuries Tuesday.

"What actually happened that a person could hit an elderly, and leave him laying there by himself, not caring at all?" asked Leticia Torres, one of Mendoza's seven daughters.

Torres remembers her father as a kind and generous man.

"(He) never drank, never smoked. He never did any drugs. He was not in the streets. His life was my mother and us," Torres said.

Police said Mendoza was hit by a driver in a gray-colored GMC SUV near 26th and Sawyer, just a few blocks from his home.

"He went out for fruit and he never made it back home," Torres said.

The driver took off, leaving Mendoza's daughters searching for answers.

"Did you see him? Did he say anything? How was his expression? What did you feel to hit an elderly and just leave him there?" Torres asked.

While Mendoza's family members feel pain, they also remember the joy they shared together.

"While I keep him alive in memory, he will always live in our hearts," Torres said. "We need to know the truth, we need to know details so we can be at peace. He will be truly missed."

Police are still searching for the driver. The family hopes the person responsible will come forward and give them answers they are seeking.