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Grieving family learns of hit-and-run arrest on Thanksgiving holiday

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Posted at 4:17 PM, Nov 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-29 21:30:00-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - News of an arrest in connection to a fatal cyclist hit-and-run crash came as the victim's family mourned together on his favorite holiday.

"Can't stop thinking about him and about that day," said Marc Engelhardt.

Engelhardt calls the last week all-consuming and painful, since the moment he doubled back during a six-hour bike ride to see what was keeping his friends - only to discover the horrific aftermath. His friend Kevin Lentz, 36, a husband and new father, was struck and killed on an Escondido street, hit head-on by a dark sedan which promptly took off.

"Disbelief, surreal," said Engelhardt.

RELATED: Friends mourn bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash

Police say they discovered the heavily damaged car about a half mile away. On Thanksgiving, they announced the arrest of a suspect, 41-year-old Jamison Connor, on an unrelated parole warrant related to weapons, drugs and DUI charges.

"Certainly a sense of relief," said Engelhardt.

Engelhardt says news of the arrest came as Lentz's family came together.

"Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. He's a food guy. Yesterday was a special time for them ... They were trying to focus on how great Kevin was. Emotionally exhausting is probably the best way to put it, all these mixed feelings ... Very difficult. Obviously they are happy that the arrest happened," said Engelhardt.

Police have not said how they linked Connor to the crash, only saying detectives 'developed information' he was behind the wheel.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.