‘I can’t believe someone could do that’: Swinomish family searches for answers after deadly hit-and-run

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SWINOMISH, Wash. -- Police in Skagit County are searching for the person responsible for a hit-and-run crash that killed a man. Now, his family hopes the community will help lead detectives to answers and an arrest in this case.

The crash happened Sunday at about 1:20 a.m. on Indian Road, south of Reservation Road, on the Swinomish Reservation.

According to detectives, 51-year-old Walter Damien was left to die in the street after a driver hit him and took off from the scene. He was only about a quarter of mile away from his home when he was struck.

"It's been devastating and heartbreaking," said Kyle Damien, the victim's son. "I can't even begin to describe the pain."

Damien said he was awakened by the news.

"He was at a friend's house," Kyle Damien said. "They told him he should just stay there, but he was stubborn and wanted to come home."

As detectives search the area for surveillance video and pictures, a car part left behind at the scene is providing clues in the case.

Detectives said identifying numbers from the car part led officers to search for a 2001 to 2005 model Honda Civic.

Now, the Damien family hopes someone who saw something or heard something that could help detectives will come forward and provide those details.

They're also hoping the driver who left their family patriarch to die in the middle of the street comes forward and does the right thing.

"He was the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," Kyle said. "He had a reflective coat, but he just gave it away to someone who was cold."

Anyone with information is asked to call Swinomish police at 360-428-3211 or Washington State Patrol at 360-654-1204.

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound will pay a full $1000 cash reward for anonymous tips submitted through the P3 Tips App leading to an arrest.

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