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Max Torres’ family begs hit and run driver to come forward

Max Torres

Max Torres

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Aurora police are asking anyone with information to call 630-256-5330.

Updated: June 17, 2012 8:03AM

The family of Max Torres is not looking for revenge. In fact, they want to offer forgiveness to whoever was behind the wheel of the white Chevrolet Traverse SUV that hit his motorcycle Friday afternoon, then left the scene of the accident.

Police say 23-year-old Torres was driving a 1990 Honda GT 64 north on Hill Avenue around 1 p.m. when the SUV, heading east on Benton Street, pulled in front of him.

“We just want them to come forward and say you’re sorry and to tell the story of what happened,” said Max’s aunt, Debbie Spence. “We understand they got scared. But how can you hit someone and then leave them for dead?”

Torres was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, where surgery was performed to release pressure on his brain. The next morning, he was flown to University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago where, according to family members, he remains on life support.

Both Spence and Max’s uncle, Steven Torres, said their nephew is not doing well. While his heart continues to pump, there is no brain activity, they said.

The hit-and-run crash has devastated the large, close-knit Torres family who are pioneers of Aurora’s Hispanic community. Max’s dad, Jim, owns and operates the business his father started, Tony’s Towing, which has contracted with Aurora police for more than 40 years. And his mother Lynette is part of her family’s ME Computer Systems in Aurora, where Max worked after graduating from West High in 2007 until the accident.

Max had left work on Friday to run to a motorcycle shop to purchase a pair of driving gloves when the accident took place. He and his longtime girlfriend Sara Verdick were planning on flying to Florida Monday for a Disney vacation that Max had won in a raffle at work.

“You just never know,” said Spence of how quickly fate can step in and change everything.

The family, struggling with so many emotions and in need of some positive news, is pleading for the driver responsible to come forward. “Whoever it is,” said Spence, “has to have a conscience.”

They also want to find the man who, after witnessing the accident, stopped immediately and stayed with Max Torres until police arrived. In addition to trying to comfort the victim, this Good Samaritan was able to provide authorities with a description of the SUV, although he did not get the license plate number.

“Everyone else just kept driving by,” said Max’s maternal aunt, Janis Griffin, who has not left the hospital since her nephew was admitted. “We just want to give him a big hug and thank him for what he did.”

In addition, the family wants the community to know how grateful they are for the prayers and support that have flooded in as they continue their hospital vigil.

Max and younger brothers Sam and Joe were dubbed “The Three Musketeers” growing up because they were so close in age and always together. Family members also describe him as a computer and sci-fi geek who has been a “Star Wars” buff as long as they can remember. “He is our Jedi warrior,” said Griffin.

He is also the kind of person, they all agree, who tries to always do right by others. “Max is such a good kid,” said Steven Torres. “I don’t know why this had to happen to him

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