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Oxnard Man in Coma Since 1993 Hit-and-Run Dies

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A 19-year-old Oxnard man who went into a coma more than two years ago after a hit-and-run accident died Saturday morning from pneumonia.

Michael Gialloreto was 16 when he was struck by a truck while riding his bicycle home from work at a Ventura pizza parlor on July 9, 1993.

Although California Highway Patrol officials launched an investigation to find the driver of the truck, no one was ever charged.

Now the family wants CHP officials to reopen the case and find their son’s killer.

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“We are not out for revenge,” said John Morehouse, Michael’s stepfather. “But somebody needs to know what they did and that they didn’t take responsibility for their actions at the time.”

Robert Gialloreto, Michael’s brother, said he wants the person who slammed into his brother, throwing him 222 feet, to know that Michael Gialloreto is now dead.

“I think they figure that he is in the hospital and they think he is just going to wake up,” he said. “That’s not the case. I just want him to know that he killed him.”

Gialloreto was riding his bicycle along Harbor Boulevard near McGrath State Beach at 11:30 p.m. when the truck struck him. He had been in a coma at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo since.

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Based on fragments found at the scene, the CHP determined that the truck was a black Toyota pickup, possibly a 4x4, with its right front reflector missing and damage to its right front headlight and bumper.

In the days after the accident, Michael’s father, James Gialloreto of Glendale Heights, Ill., offered a $1,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest of the truck’s driver. And Robert Gialloreto posted fliers throughout the neighborhood urging witnesses to come forward.

Although they received some calls, none led to the missing truck or its driver, Morehouse said.

CHP detectives were unavailable for comment Saturday, but family members say they will ask Monday for the investigation to continue.

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“We want them to change it from a hit-and-run accident to a homicide,” Robert Gialloreto said. “But I really don’t care whether they catch the guy. I just want them to know that they murdered somebody.”


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