PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The family of a man killed by a drunk driver is speaking out. The suspect, 20-year-old Zachary Showers, initially drove away from the scene. He's now behind bars.
Thomas Taraba was walking with a friend when the suspect drove up on the curb and hit Taraba, projecting him 75-feet into the air. The driver, under the legal drinking age, had a blood alcohol content level of .15.
"He liked life and he liked being around his friends," said Alicia Foust, Taraba's sister. "And hanging out down here in the Valley for sure.
Foust remembers 35-year-old Taraba as her kind, caring younger brother who was getting ready to celebrate his birthday.
"Like any brother, we had our ups and downs and sometimes we're mad at each other and sometimes we're not," Foust said. "But he was a good brother."
Late Tuesday night, Phoenix Police say Taraba was walking on the sidewalk along McDowell Road near 37th Street when a Chevy Aveo drove onto the sidewalk, hitting Taraba before leaving the scene.
"For somebody just to leave when you know clearly you've hurt somebody is just - I can't understand that," Foust said. "That's [an] evil, ugly person. You know, I could never do that."
Police say the driver, 20-year-old Zachary Showers, parking his Silver Chevy at a nearby apartment complex and ran back to the scene, asking what happened.
With the help of witnesses, police questioned Showers and he admitted to hitting Taraba as well as being under the influence of alcohol.
Foust says she's relieved Showers is off the streets but his arrest doesn't heal her family's pain.
"My mom will never get her son back, I'll never get my brother back," Foust said. "Like I said [Friday] is his birthday so that's a really hard thing for the family. He was young - 35 is very young. Nobody deserves to go out this way."
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.