LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Some roads lead to new beginnings while others can mark a tragic ending, especially for one northern Colorado family.
“He was just left there with no one to help him,” said Luci Loma.
Loma is talking about her oldest nephew 29-year-old Darnell “Louie" Loma.
“He was very loving towards me all the time. He always told me, Auntie I love you,” said Loma.
Those three sacred words stopped Wednesday night after 8 p.m. Colorado State Patrol (CSP) said some time between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Louie Loma was hit and killed while riding his bike in the 2200 block of North Shields Street in Fort Collins.
RELATED: Cyclist killed in hit-and-run crash
Aunt Luci said she got the call from her brother Thursday morning that Loma was in an accident.
"I’m thinking OK maybe he’s in the hospital. I’m like, 'And?', 'cause he paused, and he’s like, he passed away. And I just started trembling because you’re in disbelief and you don’t want to accept it and it’s like no. I went numb, I couldn’t even speak,” she said.
His mother is still too heartbroken to speak, but she’s surrounded by loving family and friends. Louie Loma's life was taken just days before celebrating his 30th birthday on Oct. 21.
“He’s going to be 30. So that makes the situation worse that we won’t be able to celebrate it with him,” Luci Loma said.
Cycling was a new hobby for Louie. Something he loved but not as much as he loved his family.
“He loved life, he loved his kids, he was always smiling, he was happy to be around family,” Loma said.
Especially his 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.
“It just breaks our heart for them that they will no longer see their father,” Loma said.
Louie touched many lives, even some outside his family.
“I truly believe what you give is what you are offered in life,” said Black Mountain Excavation CEO Dalston Zimmerman.
Zimmerman and Louie worked together for years before Louie assisted Zimmerman in starting his own construction company.
“This was my friend. I talked to him the day he died. It blows my mind that he’s gone,” Zimmerman said.
He’s supporting friends that have become family and offering a $10,000 reward to find the person responsible.
“I guess all I can do is offer money and support to the family -- I know it’s not a whole lot. But I hope it’s enough to get someone to speak and give them closure,” Zimmerman said.
His family said they’ll continue to fight to find the person who took their loved one away.
“You took Darnell from us. But we all have him in our hearts. And we will get justice,” said Louie’s Cousin, Larry Loma.
The family has a GoFundMe set up to help his children and with funeral expenses.
CSP said vehicle parts found at the crash scene led them to believe the vehicle involved is a gray 2009 or 2010 Toyota RAV4 or a similar SUV. The SUV will have heavy damage to its front right bumper and windshield, CSP said.
Anyone with information on the crash, vehicle, or driver is asked to call CSP at 303-239-4501. CSP said to reference case number #3C211735.
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