The Danville Community Band is mourning the death of founding member, longtime clarinet player and band librarian Tony Tonti, who was killed in a reported hit-and-run car crash in Richmond late last week.
In a statement on the band's website, band representatives said they were shocked and saddened to learn of Tonti's death, describing the 77-year-old Walnut Creek resident as a "beloved founding member" of the organization.
"Tony joined the band in its first season and was a fixture in the front row of the clarinet section. We'll miss you, Tony," band officials said in a post on the band's Facebook page.
The crash that killed Tonti occurred in Richmond just before 12:10 a.m. last Friday when an unknown driver of a Ford Ranger ran a stop sign and plowed into Tonti's Ford Fusion, according to Richmond police.
Tonti was treated for life-threatening injuries at the intersection and then transported from the scene but died shortly thereafter, according to police.
Right after the crash, the Ford Ranger driver got out of the pickup and ran from the scene, according to police. Authorities did not locate him during a search of the area that night, and he remains at large as of Tuesday evening.
He was described by police as a bald Hispanic man in his 30s who stands at 5 foot 3 inches tall and was seen wearing a black jacket. Richmond police are asking that anyone with information about the incident or the Ranger driver to call (510) 621-1587.
Danville Community Band officials said details about Tonti's memorial would be announced on the group's Facebook page when the details are finalized.