’I don’t wish this on anybody’: Mother hoping hit-and-run driver who killed her son turns themselves in

Balerie Sanchez said she planned to go Christmas shopping for her son before she learned he was killed

A San Antonio mother is hoping and praying the hit-and-run driver responsible for killing her son in Helotes will turn themselves in.

HELOTES, Texas – A San Antonio mother is hoping and praying the hit-and-run driver responsible for killing her son in Helotes will turn themselves in.

Balerie Sanchez said her son, Jerry Sanchez, 36, had many plans in his life.

“He was a comedian,” Balerie Sanchez said. “He always made me laugh and was trying to help anyone he could. He was always worried about me and was actually working hard to get his own place, and he said he wanted me to move in with him. He was putting in all of these hours at his job because he didn’t want me struggling.”

The mother said though her son had his struggles, he was working through them to be with his children again.

“He was trying very hard to change his life so he would be able to see his kids,” Sanchez said. “Those five kids were his pride and joy.”

Sanchez said she got a text from Jerry to pick him up from work on the night her son was killed.

“I told him to wait for me at his job and that I was on my way,” Sanchez said. “He didn’t get a chance to see that message.”

Sanchez said Jerry would usually start walking until she met up with him if he wasn’t too tired.

“He loved to exercise, so he started walking that night,” Sanchez said. “When I got to his work at 8:36, I texted him, ‘Hey, I am out here at the yard. Where are you?’ I was calling him, but it went to voicemail. I think he either turned his phone off or it got destroyed when he was hit because they told me it was in his pocket, damaged.”

Helotes police said it was around that time that Jerry was struck so hard by a vehicle that his body slid from Highway 16 near the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

“I passed him up three times not knowing his body was there,” Sanchez said. “I even swerved going that way because I saw clothes in the street, and I didn’t want to hit it. Those clothes ended up being the laundry he had with him and had planned to wash Friday.”

After searching for her son for a while, Sanchez said she assumed he caught a ride with a friend.

“My plans for Friday morning -- I was going to go to Kohls to get (Jerry) his Christmas gift and then to get back to his work to make sure he showed up OK,” Sanchez said. “Instead, I got a call from someone saying he didn’t show up at work, but that there were police down the street.”

Police said a passerby discovered Jerry’s body.

“I broke down because when I got there, there was only one officer, and I told him I thought the person found was my son,” Sanchez said. “He asked my name, and I gave him my son’s name, and he said, ‘Ma’am, your son was involved in a hit-and-run, and he didn’t make it.;”

Sanchez said she wants justice and closure for her son.

“It just makes me furious. How can you leave somebody out here to die overnight? And then it was cold, and it rained on him. I can understand if they thought it was an animal, a deer, or something,” Sanchez said. “How can you not see it was a person? They say he was up there. They had to have seen him. I do know he died instantly. They just told me this. He was found face-down.”

At this time, police do not have a description of the vehicle involved. The family is asking anyone with any information to contact Helotes police.

“What if this was your child, your sister, your brother, your mother or grandma? You wouldn’t like that,” Sanchez said. “I don’t wish this on anybody.”

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.