Relatives of Natalio Mosso console each other at the scene...

Relatives of Natalio Mosso console each other at the scene where Mosso, 27, of Copiague, was struck and killed Sunday by a hit and run driver. The hit and run happened outside Copiague High School on on Dixon Avenue, and the car was found a couple of blocks away, police said. The driver fled on foot, and investigators are looking for him. (June 13, 2010) Credit: Stringer News

Police are searching for a driver who hit and killed a 27-year-old pedestrian in Copiague Sunday, then ran from the scene, leaving behind his Toyota sedan, police said.

The vehicle, a black 1997 Avalon, was impounded and is being examined for evidence.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the fatal accident to call the First Squad at 631-584-8152 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

Suffolk County police identified the victim as Natalio Mosso of Copiague. Relatives said Mosso worked as a landscaper after moving to Long Island about six years ago from Guerrero, Mexico.

Mosso and his cousin, Bernardo Mosso, were walking southwest on Dixon Avenue toward Great Neck Road at about 3:40 p.m. Sunday when the Toyota sedan jumped the curb, striking and killing the landscaper, police said. Witnesses said the impact sent Mosso flying through the air.

But as Mosso lay dying on the sidewalk in front of Copiague High School, police said the driver of the Toyota got out of the car and fled on foot.

Mosso was pronounced dead at the scene by officials with Suffolk County medical examiner's office, police said.

"We saw a guy fly in the air and drop," said Chris Green, 33, of Copiague, who was driving past when Mosso was struck.

Green said he called 911, but by the time Suffolk police arrived Mosso was dead.

Elio Mosso, a cousin with whom Natalio Mosso shared a house on Copiague's 34th Street, said Mosso moved from Guerrero to Copiague six years ago and worked as a landscaper. Natalio Mosso also worked at a nearby Speedy Mart.

A neighbor, Christian Espanal, said Mosso's family is "devastated" by the accident.

Family members said they are seeking help raising money to send Mosso's body back to Guerrero, a small village about 30 miles north of Acapulco.

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