Suspect in Fatal Hit-And-Run Kills Self

Victim's wife says her heart is breaking again

By Scott Gordon
|  Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012  |  Updated 11:31 PM CDT
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Police say the owner of the pickup truck believed to have fatally struck a Haslet jogger last week killed himself at his home.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

Police say the owner of the pickup truck believed to have fatally struck a Haslet jogger last week killed himself at his home.

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The only suspect in the hit-and-run death of a jogger in Haslet last week took his own life at his Duncanville home on Wednesday, police said.

"It's sad for everyone involved and for the community, it's mixed emotions going on right now," said volunteer firefighter Frank Valtierra.

The man was the owner of the pickup truck that Tarrant County sheriff's deputies said hit Buddy Hopkins, 37, a husband and father of four, while he was jogging June 21.

The man brought the pickup truck to a Fort Worth body shop just hours later, claiming he had hit a dog, investigators said.

When deputies went to question him, he declined on the advice of his attorney. The sheriff's office was continuing its investigation but had not arrested him.

Sendera Ranch residents said news of the man's suicide was hard to take.

"We all wanted the proper steps to have taken place," Hilarry Ulbrich said. "And that it's happened this way is another jolt for the community and another jolt for the Hopkins family and nothing any of us wanted."

On Facebook, Hopkins' wife, Heather, posted a message reacting to the development.

"My heart is breaking all over again for this man's family," she wrote. "Please put them in your prayers. We were never seeking revenge or vengeance. We have not and do not want this to be the focus. My husband was amazing and the love of my life and an incredible father to our children. That is what I will be focusing on."

Some neighbors said the suspect's suicide means they would never hear an explanation about what happened and why he didn't stop.

"Now there are all those unanswered questions that we'll never know," Ulbrich said. "We all just want everybody to have closure and be able to come to terms with this in their own time. And this has opened up a whole new tragedy that we kind of have to get past."

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