SAN BERNARDINO  (CBSLA.com)  —  A taxi passenger was killed in San Bernardino Friday evening in a hit-and-run crash, authorities said.

The deceased — identified as Cesar Figueroa — was a father of two young girls.

Figueroa was declared dead at the scene.

Officials said a speeding SUV crashed into the taxi on around 10 p.m. and fled the scene.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict reports the taxi was one of three vehicles involved in the deadly crash.

The images from the crash are startling. The taxi cab looks like it was cut in half. But it wasn’t — the car just rear-ended by a Chevy Suburban going at a high rate of speed.

Investigators said the taxi was stopped at a red light when the Suburban rear-ended it.

On Saturday, Benedict also spoke to the victim’s family.

“He went out with some friends and always calls a taxi to pick him up,” said the victim’s sister-in-law Maria Vallez.

She remembered her brother-in-law as “a very, very friendly [guy], he was always singing, a very happy person.”

Carol Cash saw the damage the cars sustained last night and drove by Saturday morning to try to make sense of the scene.

“For that SUV to be torn up in the front end like that, the SUV had to be going pretty fast,” Cash said.

Seeing the crash site reminded her how quickly life can be extinguished, she told Benedict.

“That guy was alive at 9:30 p.m.,” she said, and at 10 p.m. his life was taken.”

Investigators said the impact of the first collision pushed the taxi and SUV into the center of the intersection where the taxi was struck by another vehicle.

The taxi driver was taken to a hospital. The driver of the SUV and his female passenger both fled the scene on foot.

“I just hope they catch who did this,” said the victim’s sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, a grieving family is still searching for answers.

“I’m going to miss him a lot,” said Vallez.

 

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