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Young man killed by hit-and-run driver on way to work in Brooklyn

A 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on 19th Avenue near 86th Street this morning as he went to work at a Mexican bakery. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

A 25-year-old man heading to work in a Brooklyn bakery was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he crossed a Brooklyn street on Sunday morning, police said.

Jose Contla, 25, had dreams of making a good life in America while working at the Panaderia La Authentica on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, according to his brother, Emanuel Contla. Jose had come to America from Mexico, his brother noted.

Emanuel Contla said Jose had just parked his car on 19th Avenue and was walking across 19th Street at about 8 a.m. on Feb. 23 when tragedy struck.

According to witnesses, a black-colored sedan, speeding south on 19th Avenue near 86th Street, struck Contla, sending him over the hood of the car and crashing down onto the western side of the street.

Dennis Gromadsky a resident of 19th Avenue, said he heard a “bang” and went to see what happened.

“At first I didn’t see anything, but then I started walking down the street and I saw debris all over the street, a black mirror holder, and then I saw the glass near the sidewalk,” Gromadsky said. “I kept walking and I saw shoes on the floor and I went further and saw the man lying face down. I checked his pulse and there was none.”

Gromadsky said other witnesses were there and he asked three people to help turn him over and perform CPR —  but he said, “they didn’t want anything to do with it.” He then called 911 and turned him over.

Within moments, firefighters responded and began administering CPR, with Gromadsky holding his head still. EMS rushed Jose Contla to Maimonides Medical Center, but he could not be saved.

(WARNING: Graphic photo and video below; viewer discretion advised.)

Cell phone picture of 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on 19th Avenue near 86th Street this morning as he went to work at a Mexican bakery. Here, photo off phone shows rescue workers trying to revive the man, (Photo by Todd Maisel)

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Highway investigators were on the scene photographing and documenting the crash shortly afterwards.

Despite the horrific tragedy, Contla’s family continued to work at the bakery. His young brother Emanuel was speechless and said he didn’t know much about the crash, but he said, “he came here with a dream to work here.

He declined further comment.

This is the store where the victim worked. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Residents of the Bensonhurst street said cars race down 19th Avenue continuously.

“People drive very fast over here, but it is a shame to hear someone was killed,” said one resident who asked not to be named.

Emanuel Contla expressed shock over the hit-and-run death of his brother, Jose. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Detectives are in the process of examining video from nearby security cameras to identify the vehicle that struck Contla. Sources said the vehicle likely has extensive front end and hood damage from the impact.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.

A 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on 19th Avenue near 86th Street this morning as he went to work at a Mexican bakery. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
A 25-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit and run driver on 19th Avenue near 86th Street this morning as he went to work at a Mexican bakery. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

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