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Family, friends remember father killed in Volusia hit-and-run crash

Father killed, son injured in I-4 crash

Friends and neighbors are remembering an Ormond Beach man as a good father and neighbor after he was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Saturday.

Thomas Reece, 47, was killed on his way home from a BMX event with his son late Saturday on I-4 in Volusia County.

According to troopers, Reece was traveling on eastbound I-4 when another car changed lanes and sideswiped his vehicle, causing Reece to run off the road, where his GMC SUV struck a tree, overturned and caught fire.

Reece's 9-year-old son, Austin was injured in the crash, but later released from the hospital on Sunday, a family friend told News 6.

Reece was ejected from the vehicle.

On a 911 call, a witness stopped at the scene, described the hit-and-run vehicle as a white Chevrolet Malibu.

When asked if Reece was ejected, the 911 caller said, "Yes ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he's not with us."

Friends said that they were thankful a passerby stopped to help and also describe the suspect's vehicle.

Neighbor Emma Simpson said that Reece stepped up to help her with yard work and repairs around her house after her husband passed away. She said most recently, Reece helped her during Hurricane Matthew.

"He kept me informed of everything that was going on," said Simpson. "I had a huge branch and he was cleaning up things for me."

Simpson described Reece not only as a caring neighbor, but a devoted father.

"He took such good care of his son and his wife. I've just been devastated all day about it because he was awesome," she said.

A family friend who said they spent time riding BMX bikes together said Reece was at the track every week with his wife and son for group races.

"Day in and day out on their bicycle. It wasn't a single race that he missed," said Ricky Rogers, a long time friend.

Anyone has information about the white Chevrolet Malibu with possible red paint damage to the side to contact FHP at 407-737-2213 or Crimeline at (407) 423-8477.


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