New Milford police find car in deadly hit-and-run; fundraising effort underway for victim’s family

New Milford police have found the car involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash this week and told News 12 they have a person of interest. It comes as friends of the victim, Galo Rafael Guaman, prepare to say goodbye to him.

Marissa Alter

Nov 11, 2022, 11:07 PM

Updated 558 days ago

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New Milford police have found the car involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash this week and told News 12 they have a person of interest. It comes as friends of the victim, Galo Rafael Guaman, prepare to say goodbye to him.
“He was always very friendly, cheerful, always joking around. He would, you know, give me advice about life,” recalled Jeremy Llivicura, who said Guaman, 61, has always been there for him.
Known as Don Rafael, Guaman was Llivicura’s father’s best friend and lived with their family in Danbury for the past 20 years while working at a manufacturing company in New Milford.
“Every morning my dad would drop him off at the bus station, so he could take the bus to New Milford,” Llivicura explained.
Tuesday was no different, except Guaman didn’t make the bus home. Police said around 5:15 p.m., he was walking across Danbury Road in front of the Route 7 Travel Plaza when a car slammed into him and never stopped. Llivicura was on his break at work at the time and saw a post about the crash while scrolling through his phone.
“I was like, you know, what if it was him? Because that’s right where he takes the bus, but, you know, maybe it’s just me overthinking stuff,” Llivicura told News 12.
Then came a call from Guaman's worried daughter.
“She said, ‘You know, I’ve been trying to reach my dad for the past couple of hours. He hasn’t picked up, which is not normal,’” Llivicura recalled. “Usually whoever calls him, he picks up within the first two or three rings. She goes, ‘Can you see what’s going on?’”
Llivicura called his dad at home, who relayed Guaman wasn’t there, then called police. They’d later confirm Guaman was their hit-and-run victim. Llivicura said he was in disbelief. He told News 12, the hardest thing was telling his two young daughters, who look at Guaman like a grandfather.
“Last night both girls went downstairs looking for him, and then the little one was saying, ‘He’s taking forever to come home,’ and that’s when I broke down and gave them the news. They were also shattered,” he said.
Guaman immigrated from Ecuador more than 20 years ago to help his family. Llivicura said he has a wife and three grown children back there, and he worked hard to help his kids pay for college. Now a fundraising effort is underway to get Guaman back to them. The goal is to raise $30,000.
“It’s just a very sad story,” LLivicura said.
A memorial service will be held for Guaman Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Ecuadorian Civic Center in Danbury.
Anyone anyone with additional information about the crash that killed Guaman is asked to contact Det. Nicholas Smith at (860)-355-3133 or nsmith@newmilfordpolice.org.


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