Couple grab child and run after killing Gwinnett grandfather in wreck, police say

Will Hodges was leaving his wife's chemotherapy appointment when he was hit and killed.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County husband and wife are facing charges for leaving the scene of a deadly wreck that killed an 80-year-old grandfather.

Police told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that the couple ran off while holding their children.

Mark Hodges told Johnson that it hasn't been easy since the death of his father, Will Hodges.

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“I would say he's my best friend,” Hodges said.

He said police told him that while his father was leaving his wife's chemotherapy appointment, a hit-and-run driver crashed into his dad.

“It's hard to deal with it. You just talked to him just 30-40 minutes ago and everything was perfect,” Hodges said.


Will Hodges and his son worked side by side at Will's Auto Machine Shop in Chamblee.

The 80-year-old had just left the family business Sunday around 11:40 a.m. when police say another driver T-boned his truck.

Maurilio Montoya Pena, 44, is accused of running the red light at South Peachtree Street and Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross.

Witnesses told police that Montoya Pena grabbed his wife and three small children from their SUV then ran away.

“If just an accident happened, it'd be one thing. I could get over that. But leaving him there to die, that's when I get angry,” Hodges told Johnson.

His father died later that day.

Norcross police say Montoya Pena was driving without a valid driver's license.

The driver turned himself in Thursday and police are expecting his wife to turn herself in too. She faces criminal charges for leaving the scene.

The Hodges family said it will take more than arrests to repair the void in their hearts.

“I did have a little relief come off my chest, but it still hurts,” Hodges said.

Police say Montoya Pena’s wife also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit a crime for her role in this.

Montoya Pena has been charged with vehicular homicide among other charges and remains in the Gwinnett County Jail with an immigration hold on him.