The Inderkum High School student killed Thursday night in a hit-and-run in North Natomas had aspirations of becoming a professional basketball player, promising his mother he would one day buy her a home.
“He always let me know he loved me,” said Niesha Harris, the mother of Jamari Julian Moore, on Saturday morning. “Whenever he left the house, he would say ‘Momma, I love you.’ ”
Moore, 15, died after a 2006 Buick LaCrosse hit him as he was biking back home with a friend. The collision happened about 8:30 p.m. about a half mile north of the River View Park neighborhood on El Centro Road.
“This person has changed our lives forever,” she said about the hit-and-run driver. “To leave my son out there, a young man who had a promising future, on the road, it’s just not right.”
Moore started his first week of sophomore year the week before the collision and was hoping to join the basketball team, Harris said. He lived with his mom, who raised him on her own, along with his 11-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister. The four lived in an apartment complex off of Natomas Central Drive, north of where the accident happened, she said.
The two-lane rural road serves as a connector for residents living near the West Drainage Canal to both Interstate 5 and Interstate 80, has little street lighting and is without a marked bicycle lane or sidewalk in most areas.
Jim Brown, director of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, said those conditions, paired with a 50 mph speed limit, can create dangerous conditions for area bicyclists and pedestrians.
“It’s a tough street to ride on and it’s really the only north-south road in that area for you to use,” Brown said.
On Saturday, California Highway Patrol investigators were still looking for the driver involved in the hit-and-run. The car, a 2006 Buick LaCrosse, was found Friday morning on Venture Oaks Way, about two miles away from the collision site, said Chad Hertzell, a spokesman for the North Sacramento CHP.
The location where the car was dumped is near several office buildings, where investigators are checking for surveillance cameras to see if the suspect was caught on tape, Hertzell said.
It was later determined that the car was reported stolen to the Sacramento Police Department about 30 minutes before the collision during an armed carjacking outside a Safeway on Del Paso Road.
On Friday night, friends and family gathered for a vigil at Westlake Community Park, where Moore liked to play basketball, Harris said. She urged the driver of the car who hit her son to turn themselves into police.
Brown said he has reached out to both Natomas-area Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna about the conditions on El Centro Road. Both have responded to him and expressed an interest in speaking to him, Brown said. The road intersects both city and county lines.
“I think everybody is focused on what can make this road safer.”