HOUSTON - A Houston family is hoping you can give them the one thing they want this holiday season: justice.
They’re desperate to find out who left their loved one for dead on the freeway, taking away a father from his 2-year-old son just days before Thanksgiving.
Michael Hayn and three friends had just finished eating at a Denny’s restaurant early Sunday morning. They were riding home on their motorcycles when one of the bikes had some sort of mechanical issue.
Police said the group pulled onto the shoulder in the 10300 block of North Loop East near Gellhorn. The friends had apparently fixed the issue and were getting ready to get back on the highway.
That’s when a driver reportedly plowed into Hayn, sending him flying across the freeway.
“His friend rushed over, touched his face, grabbed his face and he was gone,” cried Sara Minton, Hayn’s cousin. “If you know you hit somebody, how could you run?”
Minton looked at Hayn as a brother. The two grew up in the same home, and she doesn’t know how she is going to continue her life without him in it.
“He was an amazing person, amazing friend, amazing father, always joking,” Minton said. “He worked and tried really hard to step up and be a great father.”
Minton said her cousin worked as a dispatcher with a construction company to support his child.
It pains her to look at his son and know that he will grow up without his dad.
“Just seeing that baby’s face, smiling, he has no idea what’s going on,” Minton said. “Michael grew up fatherless, and now baby Michael has to grow up fatherless.”
Hayn’s friends told investigators that the driver who struck Hayn didn’t stop for a moment to see if the 29-year-old was dead or alive.
Police recovered fragments of the vehicle involved at the scene. Authorities have also been canvassing the area for surveillance footage, but it’s unclear if any footage has been found.
Investigators believe the car was a Maroon 2008 Honda Accord or Civic.
According the police, the vehicle should have significant damage to the front left side around the hood and wheel well. It should also be missing a mirror.
“We will get justice for Michael and the baby,” Minton said. “I would like to be able to go to his funeral and know they got the person or that the person did the right thing and turned themselves in.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with tips is urged to call (713) 222-TIPS.
Hayn’s family is offering an additional $2,000 reward.
Loved ones are also raising money for his son through a GoFundMe page.
(© 2017 KHOU)