ALAMEDA COUNTY (KPIX 5) – A 14-year-old boy on a scooter was fatally struck by a car leading police on a high-speed chase through the streets of unincorporated Alameda County near San Leandro Tuesday night.
According to witnesses, the crash took place near East 14th Street and Ashland Avenue around 6:30 p.m. Sheriff’s officials have identified the boy as Ivan Cruz.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Launches TV Campaign Targeting Recall Efforts; Touts Cash Payments From Budget Surplus
Witnesses told KPIX 5 that the driver of the car being chased by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies struck Cruz, who was in a crosswalk at the time.
“I saw the young boy crossing the street, and I hear the sirens and I believe that it’s a high-speed chase. And the car came when the little boy was in the middle of the street. He got hit and he flew in the air and he landed over there where the bus stop sign is at,” said Mercedes Chavez, an eyewitness.
“And as he swerved, the little boy was trying to get out of the way, and that’s when he was hit by the car,” said Orfil Najara, who also witnessed the crash.
“I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it,” Najara said. “As soon as I saw him fly, I ran over to try and help him out. But there’s not much I could do. I called 911 as soon as I got to where he was at.”
Najara said the chase was still going at the time of when Cruz was hit. The California Highway Patrol said they tried to catch up with the driver, but the driver was able to get away.
Officers are reviewing surveillance video and haven’t put out a description, which indicates they may already be hot on his trail.
“We want to find this guy. He’s dangerous.” said Sergeant Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.READ MORE: Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying To Shoot Sonoma County Deputy, Park Ranger
A memorial is growing Wednesday where Cruz landed after he was hit.
Friend Tony Coelho still has the unanswered text message from Cruz on his phone.
“And I was like, ‘C’mon please man, I’m kind of shaken right now, bro. They’re trying to say something, they’re trying to say you’re gone, like where you at? Text me.’ And he wasn’t texting me.”
Family friend Pricilla Vasquez is now watching over her son, one of Cruz’s best friends.
“And I cannot explain to him that God has taken such an angel,” she said, adding that she got Ivan the scooter for Christmas.
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