AUSTIN -- A memorial service is being planned for a beloved Austin Parks and Recreation Department employee killed by a hit-and-run driver last weekend.
Luke Strabala, 42, an aquatics expert with the City of Austin, was on his motorcycle and stopped at a red light on Riverside and Ben White early Saturday when a car hit him.
A passerby called 911 around 1 a.m. to report the crash.
Detective Will Mercado with the Austin Police Department’s Vehicular Homicide Unit told KVUE News Tuesday that Strabala was struck from behind by a vehicle that kept going.
His motorcycle was thrown 80 feet.
Detective Mercado says responding officers reported that Strabala was alive but unconscious when they arrived on scene.
Officers have combed the crash site for clues. Detectives say they’ve gone to area businesses looking for surveillance video or witnesses, but so far they don’t have much.
“Obviously if we have the public's help and they're able to give us something even as small as vehicle color or a partial license plate or description of a driver, anything along those lines would help us immensely,” added Mercado.
Strabala, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, reportedly had 25 years of experience with pools. Fifteen of those were in Austin where he was responsible for maintaining and repairing the city’s pools.
“He was such a good guy. For somebody to leave such a good guy out in the middle of the road possibly for another car to run over is just tragic," said Paul Slutes, Strabala’s boss and friend. "He's going to be sorely missed by the Parks Department and as a friend extremely missed to all his friends and family.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the APD Vehicular Homicide Unit at (512) 974-5789.