A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard in New Haven on Tuesday night near Orange Avenue
Frank Aceto, 49, of Wallingford, was crossing the road with a friend when a small red Honda struck him and fled the scene, police said based on the preliminary investigation.
The two pedestrians were not in a crosswalk at the time. Aceto's friend, Thomas Manning, stopped for traffic, but couldn't get to Aceto in time, according to police.
"He was hit so hard and so fast," Manning told NBC Connecticut on Wednesday. "We saw a car off in the distance, just the headlights, and we thought, 'Oh, it's safe to cross.'"
Police haven't determined whether speed was a factor, but Manning said the car seemed to come out of nowhere.
"I heard an engine rev and before I knew it, the friend four feet in front of me disappeared, disappeared like a magic trick," Manning said. "[The dirver] just went straight through, didn't stop, didn't pause, didn't tap his brake lights or anything until he got to the red light down there."
Police are still searching for the driver and car, which was last seen headed south on Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. The vehicle likely was damaged on the front end, police said.
It's not clear whether a man or woman was driving the car in question, and so far, police haven't had much luck in tracking that person down.
"These investigations do take quite a bit of time, and without the car, they become much more difficult," said New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman.
Police said that Aceto might be homeless and were not able to reach a family member as of Wednesday morning. His last known address was in Wallingford.
The road was closed in the area from around 10 p.m. on Tuesday until 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com