As hit-and-run investigation continues, donations pour in for victim’s family

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A community is coming together to help a single mom who lost her son in a fatal hit and run on Highway 17 in Pender County Wednesday morning.

Troopers said they got the call around 6 a.m. on Highway 17 near Sloop Point Road. Troopers said Tomas Hall Green, 17, of Hampstead, died while riding a foot scooter. He said the vehicle left the scene.

Jessica Cooper said she stopped by to see some of her coworkers that morning including Betty Green.

“I was talking to her like, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow!'” Cooper said.

Just a few hours later, troopers identified Green’s 17-year-old son Tomas as the victim in that accident.

“My heart just dropped,” Cooper said. “You’re almost in shock, you know? I just felt so bad for her.”

Cooper said over the last two years, Green had become part of her work family.

“I’ve never met Tomas personally, but I feel like I know him just through all of her stories,” Cooper said.

Cooper said Betty’s coworkers are now pulling together everything they can to be there for her.

“Well, Betty has been there for everyone,” Cooper said. Like, if anybody needs anything she’s there. One of our managers moved and Betty took time off work to drive 12 hours to Indiana just to help.”

Cooper started a GoFundMe to help Betty. She said they want to pay for transporting Tomas back to their hometown in Indiana.

“We’re just trying to raise money for both the funeral costs and just so that she can have the time she needs and not have to worry about coming back to work before she’s ready,” Cooper said. “We’re a family and if anything happens, we want to help in anyway we can.”

Troopers are still looking for the vehicle that hit Tomas Wednesday. They found the front left part of the grill on the vehicle. He said they have identified it as a 2001-2006 Chevy SUV or pickup truck. Anyone with information is asked to call the Highway Patrol.

Tomas was a junior at Topsail High School. A Pender County Schools spokeswoman released the following statement from Principal Chip Hodges:

“Tomas was a smart, kind-hearted, outgoing young man. He was a gifted writer and had a talent for eloquently expressing himself through his writing. Tomas was a friend to many and will be missed by the entire Topsail High School family.”

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Pender

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