Young State of Grace Waiter Killed in Houston Hit-and-Run; Fundraiser Under Way [UPDATED]
The driver of a sedan ran a red light at Taft and Westheimer, killing a server who worked at State of Grace.
Photo by James Bowe via Flickr Creative Commons (cropped)
Twenty-three-year-old Alex Hill was crossing the intersection of Taft and Westheimer on Friday at 12:30 a.m. when he was hit and killed by a driver who ran the red light. The four-door sedan sped away and the driver has not yet been caught. Now, Hill's family is trying to raise money for burial expenses. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the fundraiser.
Updated, 1/20/2016, 6:46 a.m.: ABC Channel 13 reports that the suspect Matthew Alan Putterman, has been captured. The report says, "Canadian border patrol officials noticed the damage to his vehicle and found text messages between him and his sister talking about the accident and ways to fix his damaged car."
Updated, 1/21/2016, 10:49 a.m.: KPRC Channel 2 reports that charges against Putterman have been dropped. There is apparently a video that proves that the front end of Putterman's car was undamaged following the date Hill was killed. That means the person who hit Hill is still on the loose. See below for where to report tips to the Houston Police department.
Hill had recently relocated to Houston from South Carolina and worked at new restaurant State of Grace as a server.
Co-worker Chelsy Magee described the person she had worked with all too briefly on Facebook, as well as a surreal coincidence:
"He was super amazing and passionate. I learned after the accident that his favorite musician in the whole world was Bowie. I was with a coworker when we found out Bowie died and it was surreal. His family are having issues affording to get him back home to South Carolina and funeral costs."
Hill’s aunt, Janet Graham, described her young nephew on the GoFundMe page, including the happy life he had found in Houston:
"In the last year he left his home state of South Carolina and moved to Houston, Texas. While being in Houston he found a 'family' among his friends. He loved his new life in the big city and had begun ice skating with a trainer and cherished being able to serve others as a fine dining waiter."
Hill’s aunt also says his parents don’t have the money to bury their son and her nephew’s grandmother has incurred a great deal of debt with the funeral expenses. Anyone who wants to contribute to the fund should visit the GoFundMe page.
The Houston Police department is reported as saying the sedan that killed Hill would have damage on the front end. Anyone with information on the driver or vehicle should call the HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.