Deadly East Austin hit-and-run crash caught on camera

Surveillance video caught the hit-and-run crash that killed Jonathan Deleon. The driver is still on the loose (Photo/video courtesy: Buckets Sports Bar/owners John & Gloria Hernandez)

Jonathan DeLeon was expecting to move to Alaska Wednesday, but that never happened. Instead, the father of three was killed in front of Buckets Sports Bar on East Cesar Chavez by a hit-and-run driver, and now vehicular homicide detectives are looking for information.

We have surveillance video of East Cesar Chavez early in the morning, in the seconds leading up to the crash that killed 29-year-old Jonathan DeLeon.

He was a regular at Buckets Sports Bar and owner John Hernandez says he stopped in before Buckets closed at midnight. "Whatever happened, probably happened after we had closed. We heard that they were going to go to another bar that stays open later hours," Hernandez said.

At 2 am, DeLeon and a friend were back at the car at the intersection of East Cesar Chavez and Elkhart Street. You can see two other cars drive carefully around the pair as they stood by the rear driver side door, but the light-colored SUV barreled right into DeLeon.

And it was caught on the Buckets' surveillance video. "At night, our cameras got that night vision and it's clear he just got hit by what looked like a white van," said Hernandez.

Wednesday afternoon, fresh candles sit on the sidewalk where DeLeon was hit. Police are looking for the driver of the SUV who could face serious charges. "It would be failure to stop and render aid, which if it results in death could be a first-degree felony, second degree felony," Austin Police Officer Destiny Silva told reporters.

DeLeon is the 55th traffic fatality in Austin this year -- and the people who knew him say whoever hit him should face justice. "It's pretty sad. You know the man was just enjoying his night and you know what a tragedy," Hernandez said.

If you recognize the SUV in the video, or you have any information, you are urged to call vehicular homicide detectives at 512-974-5576. Austin Police also want to remind everybody that if you hit somebody or something, you are required by law to stop and render aid.

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