Ladonia family of man killed in crash offer forgiveness

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LADONIA, Tex. (KXII) The family of a Ladonia man killed while walking on the side of the road is looking for whoever hit him. But not for the reasons you might think.

Stephen Close, 40, was only feet away from his father's home near County Road 3390 on Highway 34 last Monday when he was hit by a driver who the family believes simply didn't see him.

"The gentleman, driver glanced down at his gauges and when he looked back up, it had already happened," said Missy Fornof, Close's sister. "He didn't realize he had gone off the road."

The family was told Close had bent down to tie his shoe on a road that has no crosswalk and was foggy when he was hit. He died on impact.

"He didn't know the vehicle was coming, it happened instantly," said Beth Hoover-Hendricks, Close's cousin. "He didn't feel any pain."

Troopers say neither drugs or alcohol were involved.

The family tells us while they mourn their loss, someone and something else has also been on their minds.

"We're more worried about the man that lived through this tragic accident," said Hoover-Hendricks.

They say they already know his name and know he doesn't live far away.

Now they're hoping this story and their message of forgiveness reaches him.

"We feel very strongly, we're very worried about this man. It's our understand he lives alone and he hasn't told anyone. It's our understanding that he lives alone and he's been dealing with this by himself since it happened. He didn't tell anyone."

Troopers are still investigating the crash and are determining what charges to file.

But the family says they don't want the man to be charged with a crime.

"He's going to be suffering enough as it is. He doesn't need jail time on top of it for an accident," said Fornof.

To help the family, press the "related link" on the side of this story.

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