Hit and run victim's brother remembers a man with "a heart of gold"

Mark Edward Swindle was struck by a stolen motorcycle August 29th

SOUTH SALT LAKE (ABC4 Utah News) - The older brother of hit and run victim Mark Edward Swindle shared his heartbreak Wednesday, one day after Mark passed away from his injuries.

"He had a heart of gold," Ellis Swindle told reporters. "He'd do anything for anybody."

A smile crosses Ellis' face as he describes his younger brother.

"He was a carefree, easygoing guy. He didn't sweat the small stuff," Ellis said. "He liked fast cars, liked rebuidling hot rods and racing them. He liked loud rock and roll music."

It all ended suddenly on the night of August 29th when police say Mark was just out walking, minding his own business when 20 year old Lutolofi Maama ran him over with a stolen motorcycle at 3300 South, 900 West and took off. Maama was arrested and booked into jail three days later. Critically injured, Mark was removed from life support Tuesday.

"He knew we were there and my sister and I put our hands on him and he took his last, his last breaths," Ellis said.  "He waited for us to get there and I felt his spirit leave his body."

Ellis says Mark was not one for displays of emotion or affection but they shared an embrace the last time they were together.

"The last time I saw him he said 'I guess you're going to want a hug. You're only going to get one'," Ellis recalled. "So I said 'Well I can't make any promises and we stood in my living room and we held on to each other and I...had a sense that that would be the last time we saw each other and it was."

ABC4 Utah News asked Ellis if he had anything he'd like to say to suspect Lutolofi Maama.

"I hope he realizes what he's done to my family and to my brother and I consider this a murder," Ellis said. "I hope that if this guy has a conscience, this haunts him the rest of his life."

Maama faces a long list of charges that will get longer with Mark Swindle's death.

Ellis said Wednesday that the family has not made any funeral arrangements yet.

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