What to Know
- A driver struck and killed a 15-year-old boy and injured his father before fleeing the scene in New Jersey Friday night, police said
- The boy and his 37-year-old father were walking east along Oak Street in Lakewood when a driver in a Jeep Cherokee hit both of them
- The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His father was taken to the hospital with an injured elbow
Police may be close to making an arrest in the case of a hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a 15-year-old boy in New Jersey Friday night.
Jesus Lopez-Grande, 15, was walking east along Oak Street in Lakewood with his father just after 10 p.m. when a driver traveling east in a black Jeep Cherokee hit both of them, Lakewood police and Lakewood Board of Education attorney Michael Inzelbuch said. The driver fled the scene on Albert Avenue, according to police.
Lopez-Grande, who suffered “significant bodily injury,” was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His father was taken to the hospital with an injured elbow.
Police on Sunday said they had located the vehicle that hit the boy at a Toms River home, thanks to a tipster. A law enforcement source says the 30-year-old owner of the car took off to another state. However NBC 4 was told that he had since been in touch with authorities.
Lopez-Grande had been walking hom from Dunkin' Donuts, where he had just started work nearly two months ago. He'd already made an impression on his colleagues, co-worker Chelsea Bodine said. "He was the funniest kid. It was quick learning, learned everything immediately and full of life."
Meanwhile the Lakewood Board of Education was offering a $3,600 reward for information leading to the driver's arrest, Inzelbuch said.
A memorial now marks the spot where Lopez-Grande died.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 732-363-0200.