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Family Remembers 7-Year-Old Killed in Hit-and-Run

Posted April 15, 2008

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—  A family of a 7-year-old boy, killed by a driver accused of being drunk at the wheel, is struggling to make sense of his death.

State troopers said Marcus Lassiter was trying to cross Heath Road, near his grandmother's house, when a car struck him Sunday evening.

A helicopter rushed him to Duke University Hospital in Durham.

"I was trying to stay optimistic for the most part. I just didn't want, I just didn't want to have to go through the pain I'm going through now," brother Kenny Sanders said.

Doctors declared Marcus brain dead and he was taken off life support Monday evening.

"He was happy, always happy. You've never seen him down, never seen him sad. Every time I saw him, he brought a smile to my face," Sanders said.

The driver, whom police know as Pollo Hernandez Rodriquez, was arrested after he tried to flee the scene, the state Highway Patrol said.

Rodriquez faces charges of felony hit and run, driving while impaired, driving without a license, driving a stolen car and causing serious injury with a motor vehicle.

The Highway Patrol said Tuesday they believe Rodriquez did not give them his real name. Troopers are trying to determine his identity to run a criminal background check. That will help determine what additional charges are appropriate, they said. 

Sanders said he wants justice for his brother, but that for now, he is focusing on his family.

"We lost somebody very near and dear to us, so to think of, to waste emotions on [Rodriquez] would be, you know, it would just be a waste," he said.

Rodriquez remained in jail Tuesday evening, held on a $1 million bond.

The Lassiter family told WRAL they plan to attend every Rodriquez court appearance.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • MarcoPolo Apr 16, 2008

    Something needs to be done about illegal immigration. Where's Etheridge?

    If that happened in the country that driver is from, bet you he wouldn't have been laughing about it after being caught. Our jails are a picnic for these illegals. Much higher standards and downright luxurious compared to there penal system faciities. It's a holiday for them and we are paying for it literally and that poor family is paying emotionally.

  • news4u Apr 16, 2008

    Some photos of the scene and arrest are at www.wtsbradio.com

  • UpwardlyMobile Apr 16, 2008

    such a cute baby. this breaks my heart

  • pantheelsfan Apr 16, 2008

    Prayers are with the family during this time of suffering and for the extra time, stress and emotional time that is to come with the court case concerning this matter. I just pray that the LORD gives you strength through all this. Stay strong and remember this precious child that has lost his life. He looked like such a happy lil fella with that big smile... He's a precious ANGEL in heaven now..

  • duster 340 Apr 16, 2008

    We need license checkpoints everyday until we get a handle on this situation. Be proactive rather than reactive This is the best idea I read !!

  • oneday8035 Apr 16, 2008

    What a beautiful child and a beautiful picture that would make nice wallpaper for the "chicken's" new coop. All convicted in the killing of a child should have their cells wallpapered with the pictures of the children. That face needs to be the first thing that he sees when he wakes up and the last thing that he sees before he goes to sleep. Some bleeding hearts would see this a cruel and unusual punishment but what picture do you think that the parents of this angel will see in their minds everyday?

  • Mom of two Apr 16, 2008

    Its sadder when you see his smiling face to go with this sad story.

  • princessdukedaisey Apr 16, 2008

    This story is so tragic. He was a beautiful little boy and my heart goes out to his family and friends. When I saw Marcus' picture and smile, it brought tears to my eyes. My prayers are with all of you this angel has touched!

    As for Mr. Chicken. "Pollo" or whoever. This was 1st degree murder and should be treated as such! He should never be allowed to roam around in society or see daylight again. Over the past months, I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that parole and probation DO NOT WORK. My opinion= if your convicted of a serious crime why are you able to live a normal life when your victims can't! We all pay mountains of taxes and I'd be willing to pay more for harsher punishments to keep this criminals off the street forever!!!!!!!!!!

  • mmania Apr 16, 2008

    What a cutie pie this kid is. I hope this man is haunted by this the rest of his natural life, which should be cut short just like this childs was.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Apr 16, 2008

    I'm so sad for this Angel and his family