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Pedestrian killed in crash was fixture in Las Vegas neighborhood

Albert Brace Jr. said he saw the crash in “slow motion.”

And as soon as the unhoused man saw a pedestrian on the ground, he sprung into action, he said.

“It seemed like I flew over there,” Brace said.

But he did not imagine he would recognize the victim, who had just walked by him.

“I thought it was a stranger until I’ve seen his face,” he said Friday evening from the Lamb and Las Vegas boulevards intersection, where Kevin Williams, 59, died early Tuesday in a hit-and-run crash.

Williams, who was hauling a walker when he was hit, was a fixture in the northeast Las Vegas Valley neighborhood.

In the streets that housed him from time to time, he was known as “L.A.” Former neighbors knew him as “Rock.”

Brace was having a hard time processing witnessing the death of his friend of five years.

Sleep evades him, and a sense of guilt has entered his thoughts, Brace said.

“I should have slowed him down, or speed him up just enough (for him) to not be there at that time, at that second,” he said.

Las Vegas police used camera footage and witness statements to identify a Chevrolet Malibu. Police arrested its suspected driver less than 2 miles away, where they found the car with a broken windshield.

Luis Gonzalez, 30, told officers that he thought he had hit a “shopping cart” and that he “panicked.” Gonzalez was arrested on charges of DUI and failure to stop at the scene of a crash, both felonies. Bail was set at $75,000.

“Kevin will be Missed,” a poster Brace made and taped on a utility post read.

Brace wore a weathered Los Angeles Dodgers cap with writing that said “I WILL REMEMBER YOU 4EVER.”

On the same sidewalk, Melani Holliday set up another memorial with candles and artificial flowers.

Holliday said she had known Williams for more than 15 years and that they used to be neighbors.

She would encounter him around the neighborhood and give him water, food or a “couple bucks,” she said.

As day turned into night, and as the candle flames flickered in the scorching breeze, Holliday and Brace exchanged a few words.

“He would have liked that,” Brace said.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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