Mesquite teen killed by hit-and-run driver on Highway 80

Deputies are looking for the driver who hit and killed a 17-year-old teenager on Highway 80 in Sunnyvale overnight and kept going.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said 17-year-old Joseph Huerta was involved in a minor single-car accident about 10 p.m. Thursday and his car ended up disabled on the frontage road of westbound Hwy. 80 under the Collins Road bridge.

Huerta decided to walk up the embankment and tried to cross the dark highway. He was hit and killed by a vehicle going east on Hwy. 80, the sheriff’s office said. The driver who hit Huerta left him lying dead in the highway.

Somber North Mesquite HS classmates walked outside Friday morning and watched blue balloons float up and away  to honor the high school senior who was a soccer player and cross country runner. Many students learned of his death just two to three hours before gathering.

"I'm still kind of in shock. I got a text from our principal this morning wanting to verify if I'd heard anything and made a few phone calls and turned out it came to be true,” soccer coach Sergio Hernandez.

His running teammates will compete in a cross country meet Saturday without their No. 5 runner.

"We're going to run in his honor tomorrow, its usually 7 runners. We're going to only have 6 runners tomorrow and we're going to leave a space for him on the line,” said teammate Moises Nunez.

Huerta had four siblings, including a sister who also attended North Mesquite HS. The family said they were too distraught to talk on camera.

Deputies are now looking for a small, newer model, dark-colored SUV that likely has front-end damage. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 214-749-8641.

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