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    Posted September 20, 2011 by
    lafourche parish, Louisiana

    hit and run


    THIBODAUX, La. -- A tragic hit and run that took the life of a 23-year-old Mississippi man with family ties to Lafourche Parish remains a mystery.

    Louisiana State Police say it happened in the early morning hours of Sept. 8, along La 1 near Thibodaux. Now, one week after Derek Rivere's death, no one has come forward.

    "No matter what time the phone rang, he'd tell you as soon as I can get dressed, I'm coming to help you," said Terence Rivere, remembering his oldest son.

    On Derek's list of top priorities, family say you'd always find his childhood sweetheart and wife DJ, family and friends -- a network of support stretching from Louisiana to Mississippi.

    After losing partial hearing during military training and then being honorably discharged from the Army, the 23-year-old decided to seek a better life for himself and DJ.

    "Him and his wife were ready to start a family and he knew that he needed insurance, and he knew the best place for insurance would be off-shore," said Terence about his son's decision to accept a job with an off-shore company based in Larose, La.

    Exactly a week ago, after drinking with buddies at G-Spot, a Thibodaux bar, the young man decided to walk back to company-owned dorms 35 miles away in Larose.

    "He had talked to my bouncer and said its more important to be with his family than be here hanging out with his friends," said bar owner John Arnold.

    But Derek never made it back to his destination. Instead, State Police say he was struck by a vehicle in the 2300 block of La 1. The driver never stopped to help.

    "It's a shame that someone can do that, hit somebody and not stop, take responsibility for what they've done," added Arnold, who said excess speed has always been a problem along the busy highway.

    State Police say the 23-year-old's body was hit multiple times by at least three other cars that tried to swerve and avoid him. Good Samaritans stopped their cars and tried to warn other drivers along the dark highway.

    However, when emergency responders arrived, it was too late.

    The case is under investigation and police are searching for the first driver that hit Derek and left the scene.

    "They're either old enough to have children or they're old enough to have nieces and nephews. They can look around and see how much they enjoy their family. We enjoy our family just as much, except one is missing and there are no answers for where he's at today," said Terence of the person responsible for the hit and run.

    While Derek's family mourns the loss of their husband, brother, and son, his heart broken father offers up this emotional plea.

    "Please come forward, please. It may hurt you to know that somebody has done wrong but my family is destroyed," said Terence, choking back tears.

    Derek's family says LSP is looking into multiple leads and has assigned three new detectives to the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Troop 'C' at (985) 857-3680.

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