Family and friends of a man hit and killed while in Lake Murray gathered to remember him Wednesday.
Fifty-one-year-old Ronald Barrios was badly hurt crossing the street on Blue Lake Drive near Jackson Street early Saturday morning. The driver did not stop, and it was several minutes before a passerby found him.
Barrios' daughter Ashley says her dad would regularly go on his morning walk and then head to work as a landscaper before the rest of the family woke up. When Barrios' boss called the family later that night because he didn't show up for work, they found his wallet and cell phone still in the house and frantically started calling hospitals.
They reached police, who told them about the crash. Barrios died from his injuries late Saturday night.
“He would always joke around saying that whenever he would pass away, he didn’t want no one to cry," Ashley said. "He would want everyone to just joke around, laugh, and be ourselves because that’s how we should be, we shouldn’t be sad.”
"He's always going to look over us no matter what," his nephew Walter said. "He's always with us."
Barrios' son, Ronald Jr., described his father as a man who could make anyone smile and who had a connection with everyone.
"He was just a great person," Ronald said.
Ashley says they decided to donate her father's organs. She prays it can save someone's life while their family searches for peace.
"My dad had a big heart and whoever takes that heart with them, we hope that they're the same way my dad was," she said.
"His life was taken but now he's a hero as well," Walter said. "Now he gets to save some lives."
The family started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the unexpected funeral costs.
They're also asking anyone who has information on who the driver might be to call police. Investigators believe the driver might live in the area, and the car will likely have hood damage.
“All we want is that peace of mind," Ashley said.
Barrios leaves behind four children.