Father of three killed in Wilmington hit-and-run, police searching for suspect

Authorities are searching for an alleged hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a man in Wilmington, and a $50,000 reward is being offered for information. 

It happened just after 9 p.m. Monday night in the area near 700 N. Fries Avenue. 

According to authorities, the 36-year-old man was allegedly setting off fireworks in the street when he was hit by an SUV. 

Family of the victim identified him as Juan Areyan, a father of three. 

"That was my best friend getting hit. I was looking for him all I could do was search for him," said friend Richard Smith. "I didn't see anything, I just saw his shoe. And 120 feet later past the driveway of Food4Less I saw him laying under a car and I already knew he was gone."

Smith told FOX 11 that he and Areyan had just set off fireworks in the street, and that Areyan was walking back to the house when he was hit.

Surveillance footage from the area showed a white SUV speeding down the road, and off screen, the collision with Areyan could be heard. Officials said Areyan was dragged a distance then hit by a second car, officials said. That second driver stopped and called police. 

Areyan died at the scene.

No one else was injured. 

Smith said he tried to chase down the car that hit his friend, but it was traveling too fast.

Authorities said the suspect vehicle being sought is a 2008 Ford Explorer. It was last seen headed eastbound. The driver was only described as a Latina woman.

Areyan's family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses. 

Anyone with information is asked to call police. 

"He had a 3-year-old, a 10-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son serving in the U.S. Navy," Smith said. "He's on his way home to be here, from Japan. He should be here some time tomorrow."