A week after a 28-year-old Chino Hills man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Carbon Canyon Road, Chino Hills Police said they have identified a possible suspect.
Capt. John Walker spoke at Tuesday’s Chino Hills city council meeting, saying his “heart goes to the family of the accident victim.”
He said the investigation could be nearing an end, but no arrests had been announced as of Champion press time Friday morning.
Family and friends of the victim, identified as Jacob Harr, described him as a young man with a big heart, creativity, and a devotion to animals.
He was mechanically inclined and loved working on anything with an engine.
Mr. Harr was killed June 18 after he was struck by a vehicle that left the scene while he was walking on Carbon Canyon Road near Rosemary Lane.
Friends placed flowers, pictures and mementoes near a road sign where he died.
Mr. Harr, who lived in Carbon Canyon since age 3, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck at 9:37 p.m., said Deputies Tony Ortega and Matthew Magdaleno of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team.
Deputies were first called at 9:31 p.m. to Carbon Canyon Road near Canon Lane on a report that a pedestrian was walking in the middle of Carbon Canyon Road, known as State Highway 142.
Moments later, sheriff’s dispatchers received a second call reporting that a car struck a pedestrian near Rosemary Lane, the deputies reported.
“Deputies arrived and located (a man) in the roadway with evidence indicating he was struck by a vehicle. Despite live-saving efforts by the Chino Valley Fire District, (the man) died on scene. (The driver) did not remain at the scene,” the deputies wrote in a news release.
The deputies did not release a description of the driver, or the make and model of the vehicle.
It’s not clear which direction the car was traveling when it struck the man, deputies said.
Carbon Canyon Road was closed until 5 a.m. Friday.
“Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away,” wrote Mr. Harr’s mother Cindy McDaniel on a Facebook post. “You were simply breath taking to everyone you touched. You’ve left a legacy of silliness, kindness, generosity and a heart of gold and that is something to be proud of.”
Mr. Harr’s aunt, Laura Duarte, said if he knew of someone in Carbon Canyon who was struggling, he would bring the person home, provide food and give up his own bed.
“If he knew of a stray dog in the canyon, he would find it, bring it home and try to find its owner,” Ms. Duarte said. “When he saw anyone broken down on the road, he stopped and got your vehicle running or gave you a ride home.”
In 2018, Mr. Harr chased three armed robbery suspects from the Circle K in Carbon Canyon, giving information to the police that eventually led to his capture, said family friend Laura Dawson.
Mr. Harr and his girlfriend Michaella Cazette were planning a move this week to Lake Havasu, just a couple of weeks after she was involved in a single-car rollover crash on Carbon Canyon Road, Ms. Dawson said.
The 20-year-old woman is recovering at home after she was ejected from her car and neighbors and deputies were forced to push the car off her body.
The cause of that collision remains under investigation.
“He put everyone first and loved to see people laugh and smile,” Ms. Cazette said. “I can’t imagine doing life without him. He was my plans, he was my future, he was my anchor, my everything. He always turned everything into a joke, which just made everything funny. And he loved to crack himself up.”
Ms. Dawson said she is working tirelessly to help find the car that struck Mr. Harr.
“We have found several people that saw him alive walking in the street. We are narrowing down the timeframe between 9:21 and 9:27 p.m. now, plus we have the makes and models of vehicles of drivers that saw him alive,” Mrs. Dawson said. “We have neighbors who are screening their videos and police will be speaking with them hopefully to get the images.”
Mr. Harr attended Litel Elementary, Canyon Hills Junior High and Ayala High and spent time working with his father, Greg Harr, on construction projects at Boys Republic in Chino Hills.
Part of their work was to build cottages for student housing, Mr. Dawson said.
She said Boys Republic has offered its facilities for a memorial service, which has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, July 3 in the Boys Republic Chapel.
Face masks will be required.
A Go Fund Me page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/jacob-harr – has been established.
As of Champion press time Friday morning, the site raised $2,960 out of a goal of $5,000.
“Anybody who knew Jacob would agree that the kid could sure piss you off but in the same sentence also say how much you loved him and what a big heart he had and how he would do anything for anyone of you,” his aunt said. “Jacob loved Carbon Canyon, his family, Michaella, his dang dogs, and all of you.”
Anyone with information on the collision can call Chino Hills Police at 364-2000.