DENVER (CBS4) – “I thought it was so weird I talked to him on a daily basis, and I didn’t talk to him all Thursday,” Fonte Castillo said.
Family members of 22-year-old Zachary Castillo miss hearing his words of encouragement. He died Thursday night after being hit by an Adams County Sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car while walking home near Federal and 56th in the Berkeley neighborhood of northwest Denver.
Now his family is wondering if his death was preventable.
“He always gave coaching advice to all the little kids who played sports, and he was just always a big family team player,” Fonte Castillo added.
His older sisters are flooded with memories. They tell us he’s been working at a processing plant and had hopes of moving to Florida to be near his dad. They didn’t find out what happened until Friday morning.
“I also thought maybe he’s just working, he’s a hard worker.”
As the family is grieving, they’re also trying to figure out how to pay for his funeral, and waiting for more details on what happened.
“I understand they’re going to a call to save a life or to catch a bad guy,” Fonte Castillo continued, “you know if we were in that predicament we would want the police to help us too.”
However, she thinks the deputy didn’t follow protocol, and he should be held accountable.
According to the agency handling the investigation, the Colorado State Patrol, Zachary Castillo was crossing in the middle of the street when he was hit. However, a CSP spokesman said the vehicle’s emergency lights and siren were not activated, though the headlights were on.
Amanda Castillo doesn’t dispute that her brother should have used a crosswalk, but she thinks the lights and sirens could have saved him.
“When they’re going through intersections, or on the main streets they should have their lights flashing,” Amanda Castillo told CBS4.
The family now is now demanding to see the dash cam video.
Per standard procedure, the Adam’s County sheriff’s deputy is on administrative leave as CSP works through its investigation.
Castillo’s family is holding a vigil Monday at 7:20 p.m. near the site of the accident. They are inviting anyone who wants to come out to show support. A GoFundMe page has been set up here.