The grandson of a National City man struck and killed during his daily walk said he will pray for the man facing charges in the fatal collision.
Tomas Mondares, 89, would spend his morning exercising and praying. Every day he walked by the mortuary where his wife's funeral was held two years ago.
On Monday, Mondares was struck and killed by an oncoming car after it veered onto the sidewalk along E. 8th Street near E Avenue.
The man behind the wheel, Kevin Moore, stopped the vehicle and waited for police. He now faces charges of driving under the influence according to National City police.
Given his daily routine, Mondares was likely on the way home from service at St. Mary's Church according to his grandson who is also named Thomas.
Thomas Mondares visited the scene of the crash later Monday and spoke to NBC 7. He said his grandfather was in the last pew of the church by 7:30 a.m. most mornings.
The two men were always close and Thomas described his grandfather as a devoted Catholic, a man of service and a mentor.
“After coming home from Afghanistan he was there for me,” the younger Mondares said. “He was a strength I drew upon and a strength I was will continue to draw upon even though he’s not here physically.”
Tomas Mondares was going to the Philippines in two days to visit his ancestral home and celebrate his 90th birthday.
He was also planning to check on the chapel he had dedicated to his late wife.
As for the driver charged in his grandfather’s death, Mondares said his grandfather would not want any other harm to come to anyone else.
“We’re not vengeful people. My prayers will go to him and his family and we will work toward forgiveness,” he said.
“This is something he will have to carry with him for the rest of his life. I hope this serves as a reminder to others not to take things lightly, cherish each moment,” he said.
Moore, 57, was on parole at the time of the accident. Officials said he will face charges of driving while under the influence of drugs.