TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Morning Mass at Holy Family Parish in Taunton took a somber mood Thursday as parishioners mourned the death of one of their fellow congregants who was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday evening.
Jose Ferreira, 85, was hit by a pick-up truck on Middleboro Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and died from his injuries at Morton Hospital.
Father Richard Wilson said 8 a.m. Mass was very emotional because Ferreira typically attended daily services.
“He was a true man of faith,” Wilson said. “We would talk to each other both in English and Portuguese. He was always very encouraging of me as a priest.”
“Our hearts go out to Jose’s family. He was a treasured member of our community,” parishioner Merle Coughlin said. “People were really stunned. We had heard on the news that a man had been hit and killed on Middleboro Avenue and we aren’t sure who it was to begin with, and then today we heard that it was Jose, and so people were very, very upset this morning because he was a part of our Holy Family community.”
Police continue to look for the driver of the vehicle that hit Ferreira.
The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office originally believed the vehicle that hit Ferreira was a gray SUV, but have since learned the vehicle is a blue or dark-colored GMC Sierra.
The DA’s office said the pick-up truck may have sustained damage to its windshield or hood.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call the Taunton Police Department at (508) 824-7522. The DA’s office said even minor details or observations could be helpful as investigators search for the driver.