The Wilson Times

Sunday, April 10, 2011 11:58 PM

Pedestrian death unsolved

By Gina Childress | Times Staff Writer

A little more than two years ago, Javier and Rafael Blanco were notified by police that their brother was struck and killed by a driver on U.S. 301.

Today, they continue to place memorials at the spot where their brother died.

Juan Carlos Blanco-Hernandez, 30, of 304 Pine St., was killed while walking along U.S. 301 around 3:20 a.m. March 22, 2009.

Investigators have said Blanco-Hernandez had been at a friend’s house when he decided to go out walking. Police say they believe he was struck by a car as he attempted to cross U.S. 301 near Washington and Carolina streets.

"The car struck him and then struck a road sign,” investigators said just days after the crash.

Even though no witnesses have come forward in the crash, investigators have determined from the debris left at the scene that the vehicle involved was a foreign model car.

Blanco-Hernandez was found by a passing motorist who saw him lying on the shoulder of the road and called 911.

Investigators say they would like to find the person who struck Blanco-Hernandez in order to bring peace to the family.

"This guy never had a problem making a friend,” said Rafael Blanco in a 2009 interview. "He was a father, a son and a brother. He supported charities in Mexico and was a member of the praise and worship team at his church there. He tried to be as active as he could here with St. Therese Church and Guadalupana Church.”

The brothers said Blanco-Hernandez had three children, two boys who are now 11 and 9, and a daughter who is now 2.

Javier Blanco told how his brother came to America to earn money for his family in Mexico and to make a better life for them.

The brothers said they don’t ever want anyone to forget him — especially the person that struck him.

"The truth shall set you free. That’s what we believe in our culture. We want the person (who killed Blanco-Hernandez) to know that he was a very loved brother, and that they took a human life,” said Javier Blanco. "This has brought our family a lot of pain...”

Even though the family wants justice, Rafael Blanco said it is just as important for the person who hit his brother to think twice before getting behind the wheel again.

"My biggest plea to the person — because it is obvious to me that they were drinking and driving or impaired on a drug — is don’t do it again,” he said. "I also want to tell anyone reading this to stay at home (if they are drinking.)” | 265-7821

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