Freshman killed in hit and run
Michigan State Police confirmed Macomb freshman Ryan Tsatsos was killed in a hit and run just after midnight Nov.1.
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information on the driver.
Numbers to know
Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post: (989) 773-5951
MSP Anonymous Tip Line: (877) 616-4677
Listening Ear Crisis Center: (989) 773-3329
Crime Stoppers (for reward): (800) 422-5245
Sgt. Kimberly Vetter said the 17-year-old was walking northbound on South Crawford Road between Bilbrael and Concourse streets in Union Township when he was struck by a car. He was walking with friends in the area, which has no sidewalks and is poorly lit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Vetter said state police are still looking for any information on the vehicle, which is a dark-colored, older 4-door sedan that would have passenger-side damage. After striking Tsatsos, the driver, who was also heading north on Crawford, did not stop.
A woman who was with Tsatsos at the time of the crash left the scene before police reached it the night of the crash. After tracking her down later, she told investigators Tsatsos pushed her out of the way of the car. The woman had bruising and scratches on her lower leg, but refused medical treatment. She later went downstate, and is not communicating with police.
"She stated that Ryan shoved her out of the way," said Lt. Larry Schloegl. "It is believed that Ryan hit her after he was hit (by the car)."
The department has no suspects so far, but is investigating multiple leads. Vetter said investigators still need tips from the public.
Investigators have no idea how fast the car was going, Vetter said.
"The only way we could determine that is if we had the car," she said.
The likelihood of finding the driver depends on public awareness and response.
"What we need is the public to help us out," Vetter said. "Somebody hit this kid. They will tell someone, and that person needs to let us know. They can't keep that a secret."
In the meantime, police are pulling traffic camera images from surrounding areas to get a description of the vehicle.
Troopers released Tsatsos' name Monday morning, though friends of the victim have expressed their condolences on social media on Sunday.
"Speaking with the mother this morning -- they've been through a lot," Vetter said. "We normally release (the name) after a couple hours, but this is tough."
Tsatsos' brother, Darryl, passed away in July 26 at age 19 after a head-on collision following a police chase in Macomb. The investigation into Darryl's death is still ongoing.
The student's friends gave statements to police the night of the incident. Police said investigators are in the process of re-interviewing students now that they are all sober. No one else was injured.
A Go Fund Me campaign has been started in his name. All proceeds will be given to his family.
“The death of a student affects the whole university, and we send our deepest sympathies to Ryan’s parents, family and friends,” President George E. Ross said in a university press release.
Because of this sentiment, counselors from the CMU Counseling Center are available in Merrill Hall where Tsatsos lived. A support group for students who need to talk or share their grief will begin later this week.
"It's a little bit of everything as students are finding out," said Associate Director of Residence Life Michelle Veith. Our concern right now is the students--how are they coping? It's not just a couple days. Our staff is impacted as well. They knew him as a member of their community."
The victim was between Billabrail and Concourse streets on Crawford road, an area that has minimal lighting and no sidewalks. Most of the street is lined with ditches and brush.
Friends expressed condolences on social media Sunday.
CMU mourns loss of student in hit-and-run accident. For more info & counseling information, visit https://t.co/fAilkfED0E.— Central Michigan U. (@CMUniversity) November 1, 2015
Rest in peace to the freshman who lives above my room https://t.co/GSPsjOrQoy— Kari Cannon (@karigcannon) November 1, 2015
Speechless. Rest easy Ryan. One love little bro. Thoughts and prayers to the Tsatos family.— Alban (@Albs_M) November 1, 2015
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