MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man killed nearly two weeks ago was hit by a driver who fled the scene. Witnesses say he sacrificed himself to save two children. That man's wife spoke to FOX6's Derica Williams exclusively after seeing Soto-Colon's alleged killer plead not guilty in court on Monday, May 1st.
"He was a great man. He was giving, loving," said Marisol Sanchez, widow of Israel Soto-Colon.
Sanchez's heart aches after losing her husband in such a tragic way.
"The way his life was taken was not fair; not fair to any of us -- not to me, not to his children," Sanchez said. "A lot of people were affected by this."
The 62-year-old man had just parked his car near 35th and Mitchell and was crossing the street to pick up his step daughter from Greenfield Bilingual School when a car allegedly driven by 21-year-old Anthony Velazquez slammed into him at a high rate of speed. The car sped off.
"These people ran and they left my husband there to die," Sanchez said.
Police say Velazquez and his girlfriend ditched the car -- and then later showed up at a police station to report it stolen. Velazquez was arrested.
In court on Monday, Velazquez faced felony charges of hit-and-run involving death and knowingly operate while suspended (causing death).
"There were a lot of emotions. I was sad, I was mad, angry," Sanchez said and she came face-to-face with the person accused of taking her husband's life. "It was hard because it didn't seem like there was any remorse."
Consumed with grief, Sanchez tried to take solace in her husband's selfless nature.
"From what people say there was two children. He turned back around and pulled these kids, pushed them onto the sidewalk and was hit before he knew it. He died instantly," Sanchez said. "He sacrificed his life for two little kids -- and that brings me some peace because I know that was the type of person he was."
Soto-Colon leaves behind his wife and ten children combined, who he was the sole provider for. There is a Go Fund Me page set up to help with funeral expenses. CLICK HERE if you would like to consider a donation.