Family Pleads for Hit & Run Driver to Come Forward: ‘It's Got to be Eating at Their Soul'

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The family of a Hood County grandfather is pleading for help in finding a hit-and-run driver accused of causing a deadly crash. Granbury police say the driver was last seen heading toward Fort Worth.

Richard Batton’s grieving children have just one wish for Christmas: For a suspected hit-and-run driver to come forward.

“Somebody has to feel horrible about this. It’s got to be eating at their soul.” said the victim’s son R.J. Batton. “I’m hoping that somebody will come forward.”

The fatal head-on crash happened Monday, December 13, at around 2:30 in the afternoon along Highway 377 at Temple Hall Highway in Granbury.

Police say a BMW traveling along Eastbound 377 hit a utility truck in front of or next to it, sending the truck spinning into oncoming traffic, smashing into Batton’s car.

Batton was heading home from work and was about two miles from his destination, according to his son.

The crash claimed the life of the 63-year-old Army veteran and grandfather.

“He was a hardworking, good man and we just want justice for him,” said the victim’s daughter Danielle Talbot. “He was my best friend. He was my person. I really feel like I’ve lost a piece of me losing him.”

Detectives have gathered some surveillance video and have heard from one witness.

“What we really need are eye-witnesses and certainly if anyone has any video, any dash camera video, that would really help us,” said Lt. Russell Grizzard of the Granbury Police Department.

Grizzard tells NBC 5 officers were able to recover part of the suspect’s vehicle at the crash scene, leading them to determine the car is a BMW.

Surveillance image of suspected hit-and-run driver. Courtesy: Granbury Police Department

The car is believed to have sustained visible damage on the drivers’ side, potentially a gash or hole along one of the metal panels, he said.

“We’re still working with BMW to try to identify as much as we can. The year model and the exact model of the vehicle and the exact color of it. It looks like it’s a dark grey-type color,” said Grizzard.

The car sped through nearby Cresson toward Fort Worth and is not believed to belong to someone in Granbury, he said.

“Please just come forward. Turn yourself in,” said Batton. “We cannot heal and rest properly until we know what happened.”

The driver could face a felony ‘failure to stop and render aid’ charge, according to Grizzard.

Police, however, first want the driver to come forward with their version of events.

GPD is in the process of collecting additional surveillance video. If anyone witnessed this accident or can help identify the driver of the vehicle, please contact Detective Brent Blackmon at 817-573-2648. 

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