CINCINNATI – Family and friends of Federico Ventura are mourning after the well-known East Price Hill business owner was killed in a hit-and-run Tuesday morning.
Ventura was hit about 6:45 a.m. as he crossed Warsaw Avenue near the Kroger store, then hit again and dragged by a second vehicle. The driver who hit him the first time drove off without stopping.
Ventura, who owned Su Tienda Julia, came from Guatemala 26 years ago, his daughter said. He opened the store about a decade later.
“I just don't believe it that this happened to him,” said his niece, Lisa Domingo.
Ventura had just stepped outside with his family when he was hit by a black car. Then he was hit again -- dragged right onto McPherson Avenue by a white van. The van crashed into a parked car.
The van driver wasn’t charged, police said. Lt. Brian Norris said that driver had no idea he struck anyone.
“He felt like ... something was wrong with his vehicle, which ultimately led to the crash down here at mid-block at McPherson,” Norris said. “That individual and some other witnesses tried to render aid and remove the gentleman from underneath the vehicle."
Police are searching for the first driver who hit Ventura. Family members want the driver to come forward.
“Go to the police and say that they were the person that did it, that's all we're asking for,” Domingo said.
Ventura’s family and friends gathered at Tienda Julia to comfort each other.
His niece said he made a huge impact.
“He came here with a dream like everyone. He did what he had to do,” Domingo said. “Yeah everyone knows him.... the Hispanic people most know him.
Gagan Singh, manager of Cricket Wireless on Warsaw, remembers Ventura as a family man.
“He loved on his son. He really mentored him and really tried to show him ... the proper guidance any father would want for his son,” Singh said.
“He'd pass by me every morning and give me a good wave,” Singh said.
If you know anything about the black car that hit Ventura, you’re asked to call Cincinnati police or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.
“I would like to ask for help so we can know who was that person and why he didn't stop or she,” said Domingo.