Identity released of man killed in hit-and-run

Police identify the man killed in the San Benito hit-and-run as Richard Mata // Viewer Photo

San Benito police are asking for the public's help in finding the person responsible for striking a man on the expressway and leaving him to die.

Police are still piecing together a timeline of the hit-and-run that killed 23-year-old Richard Garcia Mata, but with few any leads they're hoping someone can help and they are turning to the public for additional help.

Orange paint now marks the southbound lanes of Expressway 83 in San Benito.

It TMs where police said a fatal hit-and-run accident occurred and the location is now at the center of their investigation.

The officers were arriving [and] they observed several vehicles moving to the side of the road. I guess one of those motorists observed what was going on and decided to call it in," said San Benito Detective Rogelio Banda.

Investigators told Action4 News the 23-year-old was lying unconscious in the center of the expressway. He was breathing but severely injured.

Mata was rushed to the hospital after a bystander called 911, but died from his injuries shortly thereafter.

Iinvestigators are still trying to piece everything- we don TMt know if it occurred on the shoulder and due to the impact, propelled him to the center or middle lane| or if he was crossing the expressway. At this point, we don't know," said Det. Banda.

There are more questions than answers at this point for investigators.

Authorities are working with Mata's family to find out why he was on the expressway and what type of vehicle hit him.

Detective Banda believes Mata TMs death is the result of a hit and run because the vehicle involved in the crash had already fled the scene by the time investigators arrived.

Investigators collected evidence from the scene and are still following up on leads, but are turning to the public for help.

Police said the suspect vehicle most likely has front end damage and possibly a broken windshield.

Anyone with information on this accident is being asked to call the San Benito Police Department at (956) 361-3880.