Family of man killed in hit-and-run fixes vandalized memorial; Vigil held Monday night

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DENVER -- A week after a deadly, high-speed, hit-and-run crash, family and friends of the victim are reeling once again. Someone defaced a memorial for 21- year-old Sebastian Evridge less than a day before a vigil in his honor.

Words of grief, loss and remembrance of Sebastian Evridge are posted on a light pole near the intersection of West 44th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. For the Evridge family, those written words offer comfort at a time when speaking can be difficult.

"A father couldn't ask for a better son than him," said Ray Evridge, holding back tears.

He worked along side his son Sebastian as a contractor for years. The two even appeared on FOX31 Denver in May, but everything changed when Sebastian's Jeep appeared on the news last Monday morning.

Police say Ricardo Gardea was driving a white Durango while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They say Gardea ran a red light and slammed into Sebastian's Jeep so hard that it triggered a fire that eventually took his life.

"He was on his way to work," Ray Evridge said. "He was such a beautiful soul. He didn't deserve this."

Evridge said his son also didn't deserve to have his memorial defaced. On Sunday night, Sebastian's girlfriend found painters' tape covering some words of tribute on his memorial. Written over the top was a message that said, "It's not fair... but forgive".

"They (also) put a knife through the balloon and put dead flowers up there," Evridge said.

After cleaning the memorial up Ray Evridge says they are moving on.

"It is what it is," Ray Evridge said. "If you're that kind of person, you're that kind of person. God help you. It's meaningless to us. We will get justice."

Ricardo Gardea now faces eight felonies, including first degree murder, but those aren't the only words that will bring justice for Sebastian's family.

"He won't be forgotten," Ray Evridge said. "I promise you that. My son will not be forgotten."