Hit-and-run kills school chef

There will be no celebration for the family of James Martin, who planned a party for his mother’s 80th birthday this weekend. Instead, family members are preparing for a funeral following a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed the 57-year-old man late Tuesday night.

Martin, who worked as a cook for Franklin Elementary School in Burlingame, was killed after his car collided with a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Oliver Street in a residential neighborhood, only a block away from his home on Bellevue Avenue. Police are now looking for three people who may have been inside the vehicle before they fled from the scene.

Martin’s brother Wayne Martin</a> said whoever killed his brother had no respect for human life.

“You’d think individuals would have more compassion,” said Wayne Martin. “Even if it’s an accident, you don’t expect them to flee like thieves after they committed a crime. James was a tremendous person — it’s a tremendous loss.”

Martin was driving home after having dinner with his friend when his Dodge pickup collided with a Chevrolet Blazer at a four-way stop sign, said Capt. Mike Edwards of the Daly City Police Department. Police suspect that the driver of the Chevrolet did not stop at the sign but said the investigation of fault is ongoing.

“From the amount of force in the accident, it looks like somebody didn’t stop,” said Edwards. “It appears that the larger car was traveling faster than the victim’s car.”

Witnesses said the Chevrolet’s driver left the scene of the accident after at least one passenger fled on foot, according to police. Edwards said the police officer on scene remembered seeing the Chevrolet Blazer prior to the accident at nearby Frankfort Street. When police arrived at the address, they apprehended the car and brought in three people at the address for questioning.

Police later concluded they were not involved in the accident and began looking for three others who may have been in the Chevrolet during the accident. Police are not releasing more information on the suspects because it has not been proven the accident was their fault.

The driver of the Chevrolet could be charged with a felony hit and run as well as vehicular manslaughter if fault is determined, Edwards said.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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