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Family of hit-and-run victim ask person responsible to come forward

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POSTED: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 4:05pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 8:01am

Ellen Ogden and Cathy Tugwell Bartels have spent most of the past few days at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, watching over as Matt Tugwell slowly starts to recover.

"As a mom you're never prepared to see someone in that shape so I am still a little bit stunned by the sequence of events and it's surreal in a way," shared Cathy Tugwell Bartels, Matt’s mom.

Tugwell was walking home around 11:15 Saturday night, and was crossing at the intersection of Dalrymple and East State Street, when he was hit by a car and left.

"I called back after 11:30 after he told me he was going to walk home and it started raining, and the fireman answered the phone, so in about a 15 minute span he'd gotten hit," recalled Ellen Ogden, Matt’s long-time girlfriend.

"You never expect to get the call late at night, so I was obviously just shocked to know this had happened to Matt," added Tugwell Bartels.

Since NBC33 first brought you this story, the support for Matt and the search to find the person responsible has grown.

"That's what we're trying to do right now is gather as much information and that's why we're trying to keep the story going because we're piecing things together slowly through social media, through getting the news out. We've gotten more and more witness and that's really what we're hoping to do right now," explained Ogden.

Late Monday afternoon police got the break they may need to solve Matt's case when a tip from the crime stoppers hotline led officers to a car matching the description of the one that hit Matt. Matt's family and friends just hope this means an arrest will soon be coming also.

"I am hoping that whoever this person is will have the emotional strength, the inner strength to come forward to tell us what happened and to lift that burden of guilt that they certainly must be living with," said Tugwell Bartels.

Matt is expected to make a full recovery and anyone wishing to show their support or help Matt can head to a Facebook page that’s been created to help police in their efforts.

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