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Candlelight vigil held for hit-and-run victim

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Nov 02 2012 01:01:07 AM CDT
Updated On: Nov 02 2012 01:12:30 AM CDT

Nigel Smith was remembered on Thursday by relatives and friends near the Colorado Springs street where he died.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

About 30 people attended a ceremony Thursday night to remember the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Colorado Springs last weekend.

Police found the body of Nigel Smith, 23, early last Sunday morning on Hancock Expressway near the Astrozon Boulevard intersection.  Police said a vehicle struck Smith and left the scene without stopping.  A suspect and vehicle description have yet to be determined.

Those remembering Smith gathered near the place where he died.  They lit candles, made a sign and left a cross as a memorial.

Smith's aunt, Cassandra Brown, said he came to Colorado Springs in August for a visit.  She said he was a Chicago native who planned a brief return to see his mother before joining the Navy.

"He was coming back from a Halloween party and got lost," said Brown.  "He called me around 3:19 a.m. and said he didn't know where he was, he was in the trenches.  I told him to tell me what the first sign was that he got to, and I'd come pick him up.  They found him at 3:30."

Some of the vigil's attendees didn't know Smith but came to support his family.

 "I have a nephew, too -- and I'm here for my co-worker's nephew," said Karen Brace.  "He wasn't drunk, he wasn't high.  He was just out with some friends late at night, crossing a busy street, and nobody knows anything.  And that's terrible for anybody."

Brown's family hopes that whoever is responsible for his death will come forward soon.

"If they are scared, I'd like them to get some courage and come forward so the family can have closure," said Brown.

Brown said her nephew also leaves a young daughter.

ENT Federal Credit Union is accepting donations in Smith's name.  The money will pay to take his body back to Chicago for his funeral.

Police still want anyone who may have information about the case, to contact them.

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