Family of man killed in Thornton hit-and-run: ‘This didn’t have to happen’

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THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) – The man killed by a hit-and-run driver in Thornton over the weekend was a combat veteran, according to his family.

Brad Hatchett, 33, was hit near the intersection of East 115th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard just after 2 a.m. on Saturday. The vehicle is described as a white GMC SUV with front-end damage.

The SUV was found Wednesday in the 12500 block of Dahlia Way. However, the driver has not been located.

The victim's mother, Donna Hatchett said, “He was caring and compassionate. He would give you the shirt off his back to help you. He donated his organs. We all decided he would want to give life to other people. That way he could live on forever and help others.”

His older brother, Jeremy Hatchett said, “He was a very fun-loving guy who enjoyed to joke around a lot and make people laugh. He loved kids a lot, loved his nieces and nephews.”

While police search for the driver who hit Brad and didn’t stop, his family is sharing their story about how the system failed Brad when he was discharged from the Army and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Out there in Afghan, the base he was out came under fire, lost a lot of comrades. They kept pushing him away. His PTSD was so bad the past couple of weeks, he placed himself on the streets of Denver, bad paranoia, moving around all the time," Jeremy said.

His family says Brad was living on the streets of Denver, riding the bus at night to keep warm.

“I could count five, six different times that he was in the position to get help and whatever jurisdiction turned him away. I guess they didn’t think he was bad enough," Donna said, adding, "I want others to know this didn’t have to happen. It was the outcome none of us wanted but were afraid might happen cause he couldn’t get the help. I didn’t think someone would hit him and leave him for dead on the road. Maybe if they stopped or called someone they could’ve give him some time.”

Jeremy said, “Irate, to say the least. Makes me wonder what kind of selfish, self-centered person would do that. It shouldn’t have happened to him. Shouldn’t be him.”

The family wants the public to take a good look at surveillance pictures and help police identify the driver who took Brad from them. 

His sister, Katie Hatchett said, “This person not coming out is affecting a lot of people. Giving us some answers could help make the situation a lot easier for everyone to go through, to start to move on and hope that Brad’s at peace.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help support his family.

Anyone with information should call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at: 720-913-7867. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.

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