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'Gentle giant' | East Hartford man killed in hit and run remembered by family and friends

70-year-old George Tetteh-Quarshie was an active member of Ghanaian organizations in Connecticut.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The friends and family of an East Hartford man who was killed in a hit-and-run held a vigil for him Wednesday evening at the site of the crash.

"George Tetteh-Quarshie was a brave man. Very brave, very courageous, always ambitious," said Joyce Addo of Windsor.

The 70-year-old was born in Ghana but called East Hartford home for many years. Still very close to his roots, he was an active member of Ghanaian organizations in Connecticut.

"We had to be here at the spot where he was killed to perform, we are Christians, so we have to perform a Christian rite by holding a vigil for him, Addo said.

They shared memories of the type of person he was.

"He was a gentle giant, quiet, affable, very easy to talk to. And there is nothing negative you can say about this guy," said Irving Barnor.

Tetteh-Quarshie was hit by a car at the intersection of Pitkin and Main Streets back in January.

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He lived nearby and walked these streets often.

"He walked from that place every night. And would come and walk through here. Every night. So it's a tragedy," Addo said.

Safe street advocates said it highlights the need to make it safer for pedestrians to get around.

"To get across Main St. You would basically have to essentially pass two crosswalks. A crosswalk for this right slip-on and then another crosswalk over here which is basically six lanes of traffic," said Dimitris Koutoumbas of CT Urbanists.

CT Urbanists has an initiative called the street memorial project, leaving white shoes at the site of deadly pedestrian crashes with the hope of bringing awareness to the tragedies.

"Connecticut’s built environment does not work for people who travel on foot, by bike, or public transportation," said Koutoumbas.

So that no one else has to mourn losing a loved one in this way.

"It kind of hit the community very hard," Addo said.

East Hartford police said they have found the vehicle involved in this crash as well as the driver, who they said is now cooperating with the investigation.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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