Family of wheelchair-bound hit and run victim speaks out as suspect is still at large

NOW: Family of wheelchair-bound hit and run victim speaks out as suspect is still at large

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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- On July 11, a witness called Benton Township police to report a wheelchair-bound man who was hit by a vehicle that immediately drove off.

That was 54-year-old Michael Swanagan, now his family is hoping the person who did it is caught and they can put Michael to rest with dignity.

“He was on his right side, going down Empire and the car swerved to him,” said Annette Gentry, Michael’s godsister. “Whoever did it, we hope they come forward because he didn’t deserve that, he was a loving, wonderful brother.”

While Benton Township police are still working to find the suspect – who they believe was driving anywhere from a 2008-2012 Chevy Malibu – with every passing day, hope fades a bit for Michael’s family.

“If you saw anything, please call the police and give them a description because every little bit helps, even if you don’t think it’s significant,” said LouAnn Martin-Swanagan, Michael’s sister-in-law.

On top of hoping for closure through an arrest, the family is also trying to have a funeral, but money is a hurdle.

They’re now asking for just $5,000 for a small ceremony through their GoFundMe page.

“If you can give, please give because we really want him to have a wonderful home going,” said Gentry. “So please give and help the family because we need it right now.”

To send an anonymous tip to Benton Township police, call 269-925-1135.

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