AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family who lost a young girl and her father to a hit-and-run crash in east Austin are suing two men who they believe are responsible.
They hope this puts pressure on the men to come forward, even though the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has not been able to file any charges or make any arrests as of Monday.
The hit and run happened on Delta Post Drive in June 2023.
Family members drive past the crash site — where there’s now a small memorial — everyday. It’s a painful reminder of losing Azeneth Gomez-Rodriguez and her father Jonathan Gomez-Guajardo.
“I’m depressed, [and] I’m sad,” Gabriella Rodriguez said. “He took my husband my daughter. Her birthday was on August 10. She was so close to being five years old. I didn’t get to celebrate with her. She was so excited to go to kinder…My husband, he had so much stuff ahead. He was the hard working man.”
Gabriela Rodriguez said she’s Gomez-Guajardo’s wife. She and her family are suing two men who KXAN isn’t naming, since they haven’t been charged with a crime. However, they are named as suspects in an evidentiary search warrant affidavit the family’s attorney provided KXAN.
“As of right now, there has not been an arrest, the DPS is still in the middle of their investigation,” Personal Injury Attorney Brad Bonilla said. “We’re pursuing this civil lawsuit to send a message…and the message is simple: We know who you are, you’re not anonymous, you can’t hide in the shadows.”
According to Bonilla, the vehicle was left on the scene, with a deployed air bag and blood on the steering wheel. Bonilla claims the two men they’re suing are the only ones who had access at the truck at the time.
“When the driver got out and fled on foot, after this collision happened, there’s a lot of houses the house has caught him on camera,” Bonilla said. “They have his picture on camera. He also left his cell phone in the car.”
Bonilla told KXAN, DPS hasn’t been able to track down the person they think was driving, to take a DNA sample for the case.
The family is now desperate for closure.
“We’re in so much pain right now,” Rosa Gomez said. Gomez-Guajardo and Azeneth were here son and granddaughter. “You cannot be hiding from us. Please turn yourself in.”
KXAN did try to get in contact with both people listed in the affidavit, but haven’t had any luck so far.
Bonilla said they decided to sue the two men, before any charges or arrests, because they believe there is ample circumstantial evidence that connects the two men to the truck involved in the fatal hit-and-run crash.