DENVER (AP) – A cab driver whose information led to arrests in a hit-and-run accident that killed a parking valet outside a nightclub has been honored with a commendation from Denver police and a $1,000 check from a nonprofit group.

Police said the driver provided detailed information about the incident that included a license plate number that helped investigators track the pickup truck they believe struck 21-year-old Jose Medina.

“I saw the car run away and I decided I gotta do something,” said Max. “Inside me, I say I gotta try and help catch this guy.”

He didn’t want his last name used.

Max said it all happened so fast, he followed the truck, took down the license plate number and called police.

“I think I did what everybody should do to make our community safe,” said Max.

During a short ceremony, he was awarded the Daniels Neighborhood Hero Award, named for the founder of the Daniels Fund, and personally thanked by Medina’s family.

“You’re a guardian angel to the people and the streets of Denver and we want to thank you very much and you’ll always be a part of our family,” said Medina’s family members.

(Watch Michelle Griego’s report below.)

Max admits the attention is overwhelming at times. His daughters aren’t surprised their dad is being called a hero.

“It’s really good to know he helped someone and that other families are grateful for what he did,” said Max’s daughter Julie.

“Unfortunately we cannot bring Jose back, but he is just going to be in our memory,” said Max.

Max drives a cab as a night job. During the day he runs a small trucking company. He was on the job for only one month when he witnessed the hit and run.

Four people have been charged, including 31-year-old Norma Paola Vera-Nolasco, who police believe was the driver. She is awaiting extradition from Arizona.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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