MODESTO -- A hit-and-run driver killed a former Merced man Saturday night as he was walking home with his longtime girlfriend.
The couple were on the dirt shoulder on Hatch Road about 9:45 p.m. when a car hit the man from behind, throwing him about 12 feet, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The 56-year-old man was taken to Doctors Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His girlfriend, Michelle Harris, was not injured.
"We had coffee and were on our way home," said Harris, 47.
"We'd been together for 15 years. Fifteen years is a long time. I'm mad at the car. He killed someone I really loved. He was the only person I had to love me."
The CHP did not release the couple's names. But Harris and family members identified her boyfriend as Ken Jenkins, a former Merced resident for 40-plus years. Both of them are disabled.
Pamela Jenkins, of Atwater, said her brother-in-law became disabled after hurting himself at work. Harris is mentally disabled.
The family has set up an account at Bank of America, account number 00243 76716, for those interested in making a donation in Jenkins' name.