Hit-and-run victim’s loved ones say he died doing what he loved

Family and friends of Devin Julius travel hundreds of miles to see Janesville memorial
Hit-and-run victim’s loved ones say he died doing what he loved

Lauren Minott found herself back on that stretch of highway 14 Sunday. 

This time, though, it wasn’t for her as much as it was for the bus load of people arriving at the site where Devin Julius and Mitch Vance were hit last week.

Minott didn’t know Julius before the Easter Sunday ride, but she was right behind him when an SUV crossed the center line and struck his bike.

“I ran over to Devin right away, and he was already gone,” Minott said.

Juluis’s family and close friends drove three hours one way from Freedom to see where it happened, and they weren’t alone. 

Julius’s mother, Jodi Julius, said the family just moved him into his new home in Janesville a couple of weeks ago.

“It made it real, but the support, I know he was loved,” Jodi Julius said.

Casey Sommers grew up with Julius and said his best friend was always trying to put a smile on someone’s face.

He did have a role in life to make everybody happy.

Sommers said it’s been a week of sleepless nights since Julius died.

“At the time, you cry, but it doesn’t feel real,” Sommers explained. “It’s just, the next day, you hope to wake up from a crazy nightmare.”

He said the most painful part of the situation is the fact the driver responsible for hitting Julius and Vance fled the scene, seemingly without any remorse.

“That’s the worst part is they just left and just left our friends to die on the road.  There’s no easy way to put it,” Sommers said.

Sambath Pal, 24, was taken into custody on Friday in Park City, Illinios. Pal is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin, but he is expected to face two counts of hit-and-run causing death.

As tough as it is, Julius’s family and friends say the outpouring of support, especially from the biker community, has been appreciated.

“I couldn’t imagine him passing away doing anything else than what he did,” Sommers said. “He would have wanted to die on that bike. He loved it.”