Aunt asks for help to ID suspect in Tempe hit-and-run

TEMPE, AZ - The mother of a man left for dead after a Tempe hit-and-run is asking for the public's help.

During a Thursday press conference, Christine Simon-Blackmore described the pain of seeing her nephew, 24-year-old Dustin Kalkbrenner, in critical condition.

"Shock…hurt…sadness," said Simon- Blackmore.

Tempe police believe Kalkbrenner was struck by the front passenger side of a silver Nissan Xterra as he was skateboarding across a crosswalk near University Drive and Ash Avenue in Tempe on December 27.

"At this time, we have no information on who was driving that vehicle," said Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley.

Witnesses described the driver as a light-skinned man in his early twenties, with bushy brown shoulder-length hair. Police still don't have a clear description of the passenger, described only as a white man.

"It's pretty much indescribable until you walk in our shoes," said Simon-Blackmore, who raised Kalkbrenner in Utah until he moved to Phoenix five years ago. Blackmore said her nephew was in the process of returning to Utah.

Anna Diaz told ABC15 Kalkbrenner volunteered at Standup For Kids in Phoenix, a nationwide outreach program for at-risk and homeless youth. She says he had plans of becoming a peer counselor.

"In my heart, he's my son," said Diaz. "He's one of our senior youth that we trust and he's become a mentor for a lot of kids."

Simon-Blackmore is hoping the public can help track down the suspected driver as soon as possible.

"He doesn't deserve this and I don't know where this road is going to take him now," said Simon-Blackmore. "I'm just begging for your help with the police to find this driver and come forward please."

Tempe police are requesting anyone with information to contact their department.

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