A 33-year-old U.S. Army veteran returning from a birthday party with his wife and son was struck and killed by a car while changing a tire on the NJ Turnpike in Secaucus, authorities said.
Police found East Newark's Jose Peralta lying in the roadway around 11:50 Saturday night, New Jersey State Police said.
The driver did not stop after hitting Peralta on the right shoulder of the southbound eastern spur, state police said.
More than $3,300 had been raised as of Monday afternoon on a GoFundMe for Peralta's family.
Peralta had been returning home from a birthday party with his wife and son when the accident occurred, according to the campaign launched by Lissette Vasquez.
Peralta served in the Army National Guard for 10 years with honorable discharge, the page says. He was a combat veteran, having been deployed to Kuwait from January 2014 to November 2014 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"Without a doubt Jose had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone with the drop of a hat," Russell Snell said.
"One of the best people I have ever met. You will be missed so much. Gone way too soon. Work will never be the same without you."
He is survived by his wife, Jailene Peralta and his sons, Darian and Darien Peralta.
Police did not have a description of the vehicle that struck the victim.
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