SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A 3-year-old boy was killed while walking in a marked crosswalk Thursday evening.
The driver fled but was stopped a few blocks away after hitting another vehicle, officials said.
Today, the boy’s heartbroken family gathered at the spot where Michael Flores Jr. lost his life.
His father, Michael Flores Sr., could not hold back tears. He said simply, “He was the best boy out there.”
The Flores family spoke to CBS 2’s Tina Patel still trying to come to grips with their tragedy.
The accident happened while the family was crossing Baseline Avenue.
The driver has been identified as Crystal Fuentes, 34. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
“The person that did this is behind bars, and they’re going to get what they deserve,” said Michael.
Neighbors set up a memorial at the intersection. Many people came by to pay their respects, including a large numbers of candles.
Many of the people who left candles are parents themselves. They said the tragedy hits too close to home.
“We were out here last night and just the silence, it’s just devastating,” said Mari Beasley, a neighbor.
Cindy Nanduca, another neighbor, concurred.
“It makes me want to cry, because I have kids. That’s why I don’t walk my kids to the store; I rather have them stay at home,” she said.
The neighbors told Patel that drivers often go fast on this road and don’t stop for pedestrians. They said they have complained to the city before.
“This is it, all day, every day. A few years ago, they put this crosswalk and it slows it down, but it doesn’t help. It’s not the first tragedy that’s ever happened here,” said Beasley.
And, sadly, neighbors said they don’t expect it probably won’t be the last tragedy here — if a traffic light isn’t put up here.
“I live around here, but I never walked around here. I heard so many stories; a man just died here, too, and they need to do something about it. They really need to step up and do something because it’s not going to be right,” said Sayre Prado.
Patel called the city seeking comment and wanting to know if a traffic light was being planned for the location. She did not hear back before she filed her report.