PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - The family of the Good Samaritan killed Thursday helping someone on I-275 said the man was destined to do great things.
According to FHP troopers, Dhimitri Andoni of Clearwater stopped to help a driver who lost control on I-275 in Pinellas County.
Troopers said as Andoni walked back to his car, Dana Byrd hit him.
Troopers said Byrd walked toward Andoni, noticed he had not survived the impact, and then stole Andoni's car leaving the 22-year-old dead on the highway.
Authorities say a little more than 15 hours later an FDOT Road Ranger found Andoni's body next to the Ford F-150 Byrd abandoned the night of the deadly hit-and-run.
"I only want to talk about what an amazing person Dhimitri was and how much he meant to all of us," Kristiana Nasto said.
Nasto is Andoni's cousin.
"It's heartbreaking what happened, but you know he is..he is like a hero to us, and we are just so thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers," Nasto said.
Authorities tracked down Byrd, charging him with grand theft auto and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. He is behind bars on a $105,000 bond.
"Dhimitri went above and beyond to..to be there for his family, for me, for all of the Albanian community over here," Nasto said.
Nasto said her cousin had a bright future ahead of him and was about to graduate from USF St. Pete with a Bachelors in Accounting.
"It's devastating and so painful to talk about him in the past tense, but he was such a kind spirit and always full of positive energy," Nasto said. "He made everyone around him feel loved."