The Main Stream

Jul 3, 2012 11:58 PM

Nogales firefighter dies after hit-and-run crash

TUCSON - The Nogales firefighter critically hurt in a hit-and-run crash last week, has died.

Sterling Lytle, 25, was removed from life support Tuesday afternoon.

He sustained life-threatening injuries early Thursday morning when he was hit by a truck near the intersection of Pima Road and Alvernon Way.

Tucson Police say Lytle was the passenger in a truck that was being followed. According to police, Lytle and the driver got out of their vehicle to see what the driver wanted and that's when the truck plowed into Lytle and then took off.

Casey Barcelo, Lytle's stepfather, said he and his wife Sarah are in agonizing pain, "we're at a point where it's so surreal right now. It's still a dream. It really hasn't hit home yet at this time. I think today will be the finality and I think the true emotions and the true feelings will be coming out later on this evening that's going to be the hard time."

Lytle was Sarah's only child. "It's the worst day of her life," Barcelol told News 4 Tucson. "The very worst day of her life. There's nothing that can surpass this day and the pain and agony that she's going through."

According to Barcelo, Lytle's organs would be donated, "Sterling wanted to continue giving life. That was his main focus in life."

Nogales Fire Chief Hector Robles said Lytle joined the department seven months ago but made a impact during his short time on the force. "Very energetic since day one, very polite," Chief Robles said. "He would say no to anything. He was always had a big smile."

Police are looking for the driver of an orange Chevy truck that had an after-market grill that was left behind at the scene. Barcelo said he and his wife are struggling to understand how someone could have done this to their son, "I don't know how you could live with yourself the rest of your life knowing what pain your action has caused," Barcelo said. "And it was senseless. It was absolutely senseless."

A $26,000 reward is being offered in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 88-CRIME. Or if you'd like to make donations to the reward fund you can contact the Nogales mayor's office at (520) 285-5602.

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