Less than an hour before he died, 20-year-old Darnell Ross called his mother and told her he loved her. Now, she and the rest of the family are asking for help to find the hit-and-run driver who ran him over.
Ross was struck by a car and killed Saturday night in a hit-and-run near the NoMa-Gallautet U. Metro station, and detectives are searching for the car and driver involved in the crash.
Metropolitan Police say it happened a little after 10:30 Saturday night at a crosswalk on M Street NE, just blocks away from the Metro station.
For an unknown reason, Ross fell and landed partially on the sidewalk and partially on the crosswalk.
At some point after that, a car initially described as a white Buick ran him over. Police say the driver did not stay at the scene.
"There's no excuse for anybody to be hitting him and just keep going, not stop and see if he's alright," said Ross's mother, Cassandra, from the family's home in Upper Marlboro. "That's dehumanizing."
Cassandra says her son, a 2011 graduate of Henry Wise High School, decided to spend a night in the city Saturday. She says he drove there alone and the family doesn't know where he was walking to when he fell in the road.
Family members say they can't have closure until the driver who ran Darnell over and left the scene is found.
"It's just a lot of unanswered questions that we have," said Nicole Carter, who was Darnell's sister-in-law. "If you have any information definitely come forward so we can try to have some sort of closure."
Family members describe Darnell as a loving person who had a gift for caring for people. They say he'd spent time working with people with mental and physical disabilities.
"Whoever did this...I wish they would turn themselves in," Cassandra said. "His mother and his brothers and his nieces are really going to miss him."