Suspect in deadly Holyoke hit-and-run appears in court

A suspect has now been caught following a deadly hit-and-run accident that happened in the city a couple weeks ago.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 3:57 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:21 PM EST
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A suspect has now been caught following a deadly hit-and-run accident that happened in the city a couple weeks ago.

Western Mass News was in the courtroom when 27-year-old Byron Salgado-Melendez of Springfield faced a judge in Holyoke District Court on Wednesday. He entered a not guilty plea and is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury and death and a crosswalk violation.

Just two weeks ago, 22-year-old Jorge “Meeswee” Calderon was hit by a car in Holyoke while crossing the intersection of Cabot and Canal Streets with his bike. One week later, he died from his injuries surrounded by family and friends. An arrest was not made until Wednesday, which was when Calderon’s stepfather, Eduardo Vargas, received a phone call giving him and his family a little bit of closure they needed after losing their loved one.

“The detective just said, ‘Give me some time,’ and we heard the fire in his voice,” Vargas said.

Western Mass News spoke exclusively with the victim’s stepfather on Wednesday. He shared what was running through his mind when he first received the call this morning telling him the news that an arrest had been made in the case.

“We get the call today, they finally apprehended him. It was just a relief for me. It’s one of the main reasons why, just to give everybody a peace of mind. Everybody that has supported us, everyone has been terrific. Everyone has been so loving in this moment that not one of us has felt down,” Vargas told us. “So many prayers, so many people wondering because it’s just, ‘How could a person not stop?’ and that mystery was plaguing us this whole time,” Vargas said.

Vargas told Western Mass News that he is grateful for the outpouring of support from police and the community during this difficult time.

“Of course, as family in this sudden case, everyone thought the more time that passed, it was going to be crucial. I mean, they came through for everybody, for my son. We needed a face, we needed a name. We didn’t even know if it was a female or a kid. We didn’t know anything,” he said. “We never felt alone in this. He affected so many people from the Holyoke area, being a barber there, from his clients, from old friends, from a huge family on both sides. Everybody is just so supportive. It’s tragic, but we’re also at peace, as well.”

During the arraignment, it was determined that a bail hearing for Salgado-Melendez will be held Thursday.

Holyoke Police told us that this is still an ongoing investigation.