By Renée Santos

NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) — The Denny’s in North Highlands was Michael Reed’s favorite spot.

Mike Reed.

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People who knew him best at the diner called him Mike and said he had a way of making workers smile.

“He came in here several times a day. His go-to was pancakes. That’s his thing, pancakes,” Catrina Lopez said. “We were family you know that was his purpose, his focus. You see him walking, he was walking here.”

Lopez works at the Denny’s and said Mike became part of her day.

“We were a part of him, you know?” Catrina said. “We were his best friends. He called me Cat. That was his nickname for me.”

Mike’s stepmother Vivian Reed said she feels empty without him.

“It’s just very hard, very hard,” she said.

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Just last week, Mike, who is hearing impaired, was walking at 11 p.m. to his favorite spot when a truck hit him at Madison and Hillsdale Boulevard. The driver took off, leaving the 70-year-old lying in the middle of the road.

“I mean, even if they couldn’t help him, they could have stopped,” Vivian said.

(credit: North Sacramento CHP)

Vivian says Mike fought a few days before passing away in the hospital. Her purpose is now finding whoever hit Mike and left him to die.

“I want them to recognize what they did. We can’t bring him back, but we could get justice,” she said.

Much like Vivian, Catrina misses Mike.

“I feel a little emotional right now because he was a really good guy,” she said.

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CHP investigators are looking for a dark-colored truck that should have front end damage that may have been associated with this crash.