CLEARWATER, Fla. — One week after a hit-and-run driver took the life of a Largo musician, friends and loved ones are demanding justice while honoring his talents.
Tyler Deremo was killed one week ago while skateboarding home along Gulf to Bay and Keene Road in Clearwater.
Police say Sergio Mendoza-Mesquite didn’t stop after slamming into the 26-year-old.
“He didn’t call for 911, he didn’t check on the victim, he just took off,” said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Department. “Witnesses say that he didn’t even tap the brakes, didn’t slow down at all, just took off.”
Investigators say he ditched the vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, a couple of miles away before fleeing.
“It’s very cowardly,” said James Gelber. “He could have probably made it, you know, if he had just stopped and helped him but he ran.”
Gelber says Tyler was the first friend he made in Tampa Bay after moving here from Texas. The two immediately hit it off during an open mic night at the beach.
ABC Action News has learned Tyler was a well-known performer in the heavy metal music scene across Pinellas County.
“I can’t stress enough about how good he was,” Gelber recalled. “He was just such a great singer, he could sing, he could scream, he could do all of it.”
Gelber says he recently wrote several songs with Tyler’s voice in mind.
“Looking back at it, I really think that even though he’s not a part of it, I will keep him at heart when I do it because he really pushed me to go back into doing more writings” said Gelber.
Investigators urge anyone with information on Mendoza-Mesquite’s whereabouts to call (727) 562-4242 or use tip411 to remain anonymous.
“I hope he’s found and I hope someone will bring light to it,” said Gelber. “His family needs closure.”
A GoFundMe page has been made to help with funeral expenses.