SPRING VALLEY, Calif. - Friends and family members gathered at the scene Monday evening of a hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 21-year-old man on New Year's Day.
Ebony Squire couldn't hold back the tears as she spoke about her friend, Corey Anderson.
"I know he's looking down on us now and he sees us, but I don't know if he noticed it when he was here on Earth with us, but he was truly loved and you guys really showed that today," Squire said.
Squire was one of the many friends and loved ones who showed up to honor Anderson. Another friend, Deondre Stovall said, "He was actually one of those people I could depend on with my life. He inspired me to be more of a godly man."
At about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, Anderson was driving with his mother on eastbound state Route 94 near Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley.
"The call was, 'No, don't tell me that. No, don't tell me,'" said Anderson's father, Larry.
Anderson's mother pulled over to diffuse a difficult conversation. Anderson got out of the car and started walking, but seconds later, a driver slammed into him and never stopped.
Larry Anderson said, "For someone to strike someone like that and not have a conscious or not come forth and didn't even pull over …"
Ramona Gwin, who has known Anderson since fifth grade, said, "Yes, it was wrong for him to walk into the middle of the road, but they should have waited."
Larry Anderson added, "I just believe that he touched a lot of lives while he was here."
Dozens gathered at the crash scene with candles, balloons and tears. Gwin chose to honor her childhood friend with a tattoo of his initials surrounded by wings.
She said, "He's my angel because now he's in heaven, but I wanted him close enough to my heart … And I will miss him."
It has been nine days since Anderson was killed and the driver who hit him still hasn't come forward.
The California Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help in finding the driver and urging anyone who sees a car with front-end damage to take a picture of the license plate and send it to them.