Man walking to work struck, killed in San Benito

Willie Lee Williams Jr.

SAN BENITO — Jasmine Harden and her family are calling for justice for Willie Williams Jr., who was walking to work when a hit-and-run driver left him dead at the side of the road.

“We want justice for our family. We want closure,” Harden, Williams’ cousin, said yesterday. “I feel heartbroken knowing somebody left him like a dog on the side of the road.”

Williams, 46, of San Benito, was pronounced dead at Interstate 69’s westbound frontage road near Stephanie Lane at about 12:40 a.m. Sunday, interim Police Chief Fred Bell stated yesterday.

Investigators plan to use local businesses’ security cameras to help identify the vehicle, Bell stated.

“Some physical evidence was located at the scene,” Bell stated, apparently referring to parts of the suspect vehicle. “Detectives are following up on the case and obtaining videos from local businesses as well as trying to identify the vehicle involved based on the physical evidence that was processed and secured.”

Bell stated a patrol officer found Williams’ body.

“Nobody called in,” Harden said.

Harden said her cousin was walking to work at a Denny’s restaurant when he was killed.

“He was a good man. He had family — he had a lot of people who loved him and cherished him,” she said.

“Willie had a heart of gold. Anyone in need — he tried to help them out,” she said. “He was always in a good mood. He was full of life. He was uplifting, cheerful — even if something was bothering him.”

fdelvalle@valleystar.com