EASTVALE (CBSLA) – Authorities are searching for a driver who struck a teen boy and left him to die in the city of Eastvale, north of Corona, in the early morning hours Thursday.
The victim was identified by his family as 15-year-old Anthony Gaitan, who lived in a home just yards from where he was killed in the area of Tarah and 68th streets.
The hit-and-run was reported at 2:40 a.m., according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Anthony’s aunt, Cristina Gaitan, who was raising him, told CBS2 she heard a sound outside her home, rushed outside and spotted Anthony’s cell phone on one side of the street and his body on the other.
“Just happened to wake up, and he was gone,” Gaitan said. “And I ran out here and he was on the ground.”
Cristina told CBS2 she’s not sure why he left the house. However, she said he had just finished the school year and had several friends living nearby.
“I didn’t believe it, I didn’t even know, I thought he was just hurt, just asking him if he was OK, then realized he was gone.”
The car which struck him, described as a dark colored sedan, sped away.
“If that person would have stopped, that hit him, I would have been able to save him, because time’s critical, but know he just drove away,” his grandmother Marta Gaitan said.
Anthony would have turned 16 next month.
“He loved skateboarding, he was a very good kid,” his grandfather Marcelino Gaitan said.
Deputies are canvassing the area for possible surveillance video. The intersection was shut down for several hours but has since reopened.
Gaitan’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral expenses.