TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT) – Family and friends of a Topeka man killed in a deadly hit and run gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night.
Thirtyfive-year-old Jeremy Gerhardt died late Saturday night after an accident near 37th and Indiana St. in southeast Topeka. Witnesses said Gerhardt’s truck collided with another vehicle before hitting an overpass pillar. Gerhardt was pulled from the accident before his truck erupted in flames.
“When the paramedics got there the truck did an explosion. They all told us to back up… and the next thing you know, we see that they pulled a white sheet and we knew that he was gone,” said Angelica Alvarez, who’s family was one of the first on the scene.
Fifty-six-year-old Theresa Hooper of Topeka was booked in to the Shawnee County Jail Sunday in connection with the crash. Hooper is accused of leaving the scene of the accident.
Less than 24 hours after his death, friends and family of Gerhardt met at the site of the crash to mourn a life taken too soon. Gatherers lit candles in front of a small memorial for the father of three. Although she never met him, Alvarez said she feels for those that are grieving.
“It’s a young life. Someone’s lost a brother. Someone’s lost a son. He was not related me. I’ve never seen him before and I feel really sad. I feel sad, knowing that we couldn’t do anything to save him,” said Alvarez.