Boy Is Asking 'For His Daddy,' Who Died in Hit-and-Run After Pushing Wife and Son to Safety

"Before being struck at a high speed my husband was able to show my son and I his unconditional love," said Angelica Chavarria, who is pleading for the driver to turn themselves in

A father gave his life to protect his family, and police are still looking for the driver who fled the scene after the crash.

Jemmy "Jimmy" Chavarria, 42, was on his way to church in South Los Angeles with his wife and 2-year-old son when he was fatally struck around 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 26, police said in a news conference on Thursday.

At the time, the family of three was crossing 84th Street and Hoover Street "in a marked crosswalk guided by a crossing guard," per a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

As traffic stopped in both directions for the family to cross, a sedan "driving at a high rate of speed" went around traffic and "was going to strike the family of three," per police. Saving his wife and son, the 42-year-old father pushed them out of the driver's path, and instead was struck himself.

Following the collision, "the suspect fled…without stopping or rendering aid," said police, who are offering a $50,000 reward — thanks to the city's Hit-and-Run Reward Program Trust Fund — to anyone with information about the crash or driver.

Chavarria was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.

In an emotional statement, his wife, Angelica Chavarria, said the "reckless, coldhearted driver" took away everything from her family.

"On Saturday, February 26, my life completely changed," she said through tears while speaking at the news conference. "Before being struck at a high speed my husband was able to show my son and I his unconditional love."

"He saved our lives," she added.

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Now, her son Zion keeps asking "for his daddy" and she doesn't "know what to say to him," Angelica said.

"It hurts so much. I miss him so much," she continued, before urging the driver to turn themselves in.

"If you're watching and you're responsible, turn yourself in," she said. "You took away my husband, my first boyfriend, my everything. I don't hold anything against you, I forgive you with all of my heart…but you have to pay for what you did."

She added, "I don't want you to do this again for another family to feel this pain. I don't wish this on anybody."

Police said the vehicle is a light-colored, older sedan that was missing a right front hubcap at the time of the collision, according to CBS Los Angeles.

LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno noted that they believe the suspect is from the area, per FOX affiliate KTTV.

"We still don't know who the suspect is," Moreno said at the press conference, adding that alcohol or narcotics may have played a factor.

Police are asking anyone with information to call traffic detectives at (323) 421-2500.

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