By Lauren Sellew
MERIDEN — Police identified the man killed in a hit and run on Old Colony Road Thursday night as a city resident.
Harold Bell was walking to his home, which was nearby, when he was struck, police spokesman Sgt. Darrin McKay said Friday. Bell’s sister, Grace Piper, said he was 56 years old. Police previously stated he was 66 years old.
“We have no hard feelings, accidents happen, they have to live with this now,” Piper said about the driver that struck Bell and left the scene. “Nothing is going to bring him back… I’m not mad at them, I forgive them.”
The incident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. Thursday near 817 Old Colony Road. Arriving officers found Bell lying in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner listed his cause of death as blunt force trauma and the manner of death as an accident.
Officers spoke with witnesses and reviewed video surveillance footage, which showed a black Honda Accord strike the victim before leaving the scene. McKay said the vehicle was last seen speeding south down Old Colony Road, before turning east on Gypsy Lane.
Piper, who lives in New York, said her brother would help anyone and was a very simple person. Piper said she is strong in her faith and added that this has changed her family’s life.
“The choices you make can affect so many people you don’t know, its a domino effect,” Piper said. “I wish people were more compassionate.”
Mike Verdolini, owner of Verdolini Transmission on Old Colony Road, said he knew Bell very well. Bell would help out around the shop, performing odd jobs. He was very handy and would help anyone that asked.
“He had a good heart,” Verdolini said Friday at his business. “Everyone knew him as ‘Tex’.”
Verdolini said Bell would often walk on the side of the road back to his home. He used a cane and always wore a cowboy hat.
“I’m gonna miss him,” Verdolini said.
Police requested the public’s help in finding the vehicle, which McKay said should have a missing driver’s side mirror and a damaged windshield. Anyone with information should call the Meriden Police Department at 203-630-6201.