UPLAND (CBSLA.com) —A suspect is in custody in the hit-and-run crash that fatally injured an 11-year-old boy as he walked to school Thursday morning.
Isaiah Shelton-Dobine was on his way to Cabrillo Elementary School when he was struck by a car at the intersection of Arrow Highway and Benson Avenue just before 8 a.m., Upland police officials said.
Isaiah, who was walking in a crosswalk, suffered severe trauma and was taken to San Antonio Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The vehicle that struck Isaiah did not stop and fled eastbound on Arrow Highway. The vehicle was identified as a white Jeep Cherokee, similar to a 2008 model, and was being followed by a gray pickup truck, according to police.
Police say a man watching the news in Victorville recognized the Jeep Cherokee as one he rented for his son.
“He called his son, confirmed he had actually lent the car to his friend,” Upland police Lt. Alan Nasara said. “We were able to respond, locate the vehicle and locate that friend and take him into custody.”
Police say they caught the suspect at his apartment — which happened to be the same complex where Isaiah lived.
Upland Police identified the suspect as Jason Fehr, 25, and released his booking photo.
“Someone called and said he was suicidal and that he was walking around the complex and as soon as the cops came in, they pulled him inside and arrested him,” witness Kenneth Stewart said.
This was the first year Isaiah, the eldest of three brothers, was allowed to walk to his nearby elementary school by himself.
“He didn’t get to see junior high, he didn’t get to see high school, he didn’t get to experience none of this now,” Isaiah’s stepfather, Vincent Vega said.
Police have not yet determined if the driver ran a red light, but did say the suspect was on his way to a hospital — the same one where Isaiah was pronounced dead — for a medical appointment.
On Thursday evening, the boy’s grandmother — Tamara Strong — told KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz she would find it in her heart to forgive Fehr.
“I have to,” she said, “I know my grandson would. We’re suffering, we’re grieving. And while the grieving will be different, his family will be grieving, too.”
A makeshift memorial was set up and about 100 people, including strangers, brought candles, flowers, trinkets, posters and teddy bears.
“I feel so blessed. To have complete strangers come out and show such love and support,” she said.
Strong said her daughter was too distraught to come outside.
“But she knows that Isaiah is with the Lord,” Strong said.
For a link to a memorial fund set up in Isaiah Shelton-Dobine’s honor, click here.