hit and run

Friends to Create Memorial for Runner Fatally Struck by Hit-and-Run Driver in Fountain Valley

Friends of a man who was fatally struck during a hit-and-run crash on Wednesday in Fountain Valley are anticipating a memorial for the victim as they recall their slain friend.

"He was just somebody who was inspirational, in his athleticism but more so in his spirit and kindness," the victim's friend, Diane Daruty, said. "He just lifted everybody up."

Avid runner and high school mentor, 48-year-old Juan Ramirez of Santa Ana, was killed on Wednesday by a hit-and-run driver.

Ramirez was on his way to Mile Square Park to meet up with a friend for a run when the crash occurred. The victim's friends said they knew something was wrong when he failed to show up.

"He was extremely dependable," Juan Morales, Ramirez's friend, said. "If he said he was going to be there, he would be there."

The driver, 39-year-old John Motesharrei, was arrested the following day in his Westminster home.

Despite the arrest of the driver responsible for Ramirez's death, his friends said it does not replace losing their friend.

"It doesn't do anything to fill that void," Morales said. "There's no substitute to what we lost."

Friends and loved ones of Ramirez plan to hold a memorial service in his memory next month.

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