INTERCESSION CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Through her tears, via an interpreter, Maria gathered the strength to talk about her 17-year-old son, Joyvon "JJ" Ventura-Villafan.
"The best child in the world," Maria said. "Nobody can lie, nobody can say nothing bad about him. A great, great kid."
Always helping his mom, JJ had three brothers and loved to play basketball daily.
State troopers say Joyvon died at the hospital after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night, along South Orange Blossom Trail near Hope Street.
Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said he was on his way to the store to get a drink, but never made it.
Maria said, "There's no words for that person that hit him and continued. If they stopped, they could've helped him."
Medical Assistant Brittany Holtz told Fox 35 she tried to save JJ's life.
"I ran over there. I tried to get a pulse and there was nothing," Holtz said. "It was really traumatic. It was horrible."
Sgt. Montes said, "Just a horrific way for teenager to be left alone on the side of the road and be killed."
This is the 17th deadly hit-and-run in the region so far this year, said Montes. It's the fourth in Osceola County.
Sgt. Montes said, "We need the public's help. This is how these cases get solved."
Close friend, Jose Valdes, and family are pleading for answers.
Valdes said, "Turn yourselves in is the best you can do. God is watching."
Florida Highway Patrol says look for a dark-colored SUV or sedan with front-end damage. If you see it, call Crimeline 1-800-423-TIPS or FHP at 407-734-2213.