Hit & Run Victim's Family

Image by Journal Broadcast Group

Hit & Run Victim's Family

CREATED Dec 1, 2011

 Producer: Martha Serda, Reporter: Ileana Diaz, Photograher: Andrew Bautista

 TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN-TV) - On Saturday, November 19th, a tragic hit and run accident left 51-year-old Ollie Branche Senior laying on the ground fighting for his life.  He died there moments later.  Police say he collapsed and was then hit by a car.  And while officers continue to investigate the exact cause of death, Branche's family is in town to say goodbye to him.

Nine On Your Side's Ileana Diaz spoke with them tonight and is in the studio.

These pictures bring  back memories of Ollie Branch Senior, putting smiles on his son Ollie Branch and his best friend MIchael Thomas who remember Branch as Prankster.

"He his in the fridge one time to scare me, but he scared me, but he had to spend 10 minutes in there because I locked the door."

But last weekend was no laughing matter -- these two men lost a friend and a father -- Branche Senior was crossing this walkwaywhen policesay he collapsed and was hit and runover by this driver who police say fled the scene but was later caught.

Nonetheless, leaving the family is hearbroken and close friends in tears.

"Just replaying what happened to him knowing he was left there and he was laying on the street.  I don't know how anyone can do that to another human being."

And Branche's best friedn doesn't either and is still trying to cope with it all.

Michael Thomas, "We did everything for eachother.  We were roommates for 35 years."

And they spoke minutes before the tragedy.  Then minutes later made the call to the family.

"I was hurt.  Just couldn't go back to sleep."

"I can't even imagine what it was like for you.  Shock at first.  Everything changes at that point."

And while Branche's son wishes he would have come to visit this year, what he wants now is an answer.

Ollie Branche, Jr., "I just want to know why he didn't stop.  Why?"

As for his best friend he wants to ake sure others are safe here.

Michael Thomas, "They should put up one of those crosswalk lights there at that intersection."

The suspect, Adam Jacob Worthing, is charged one count of leaving the scene.