Brother says he’ll ‘live to honor’ teen killed in Fuquay-Varina hit-and-run


FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — The younger brother of Gerlin Garcia says he’ll live to honor his brother’s memory after police say the teenager was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Fuquay-Varina. 

Jhaniel Garcia always looked up to his older brother Gerlin. “He’s always been there to bring me up when I was down, very positive, very hard-working. He would motivate everybody to do the best they could,” Jhaniel recalled. 

From their childhood in Honduras to their teenage years in North Carolina, they were as close as brothers could be. The oldest of four children, Gerlin wanted to one day join his family’s construction business, and he kept his whole family smiling. “His jokes would always make me laugh and it just makes me happy to remember him like that,” said Jhaniel. 

There are also tears. Police say a driver hit Gerlin along Main Street In Fuquay-Varina early Sunday morning then left the scene.

Police arrested Nicholas Bunch several hours later and charged him with felony hit and run. “He took someone I love very much,” said Jhaniel. “He had such a bright future and it was just taken away from him within the one hour that I wasn’t with him,” said Hope Salvador.  

She and a friend found Gerlin along the road after the crash, but that isn’t how she’ll remember her coworker and close friend. She’ll remember their last conversation, the night he died. He was encouraging her about her future. 

“He sat me down and he was trying to reassure me,” she remembered, adding, ”I was going to do big things.”

Even without him here, Gerlin Garcia’s friends and family said he still inspires them. “I’m going finish high school,” said his brother. “I’m going to college and keep him in my memories for motivation because that’s what he would’ve wanted. He wouldn’t want me to grieve every day. He would want me to keep going keep pushing forward I’m going to make him proud.”

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