KEARNS — Police think they have found the pickup truck that struck a 5-year-old boy in Kearns and fled, but, they have not identified a suspect.
The boy was listed in critical but stable condition Friday at Primary Children’s Hospital, a slight upgrade from Thursday night, when the incident happened.
"Although we have the vehicle, we have not been able to find the driver, which we believe is the owner of the truck,” said Sgt. Melody Gray with the Unified Police Department. “We’re still looking for that individual and we would like to talk to them.”
Investigators have served a search warrant on the vehicle at an apartment complex to determine whether there’s any forensic evidence related to the hit-and-run.
“They were able to gather some surveillance footage from cameras on homes and believe the vehicle matches that description,” said Gray.
Although the child was seriously hurt, Sgt. Gray said there was some good news.
“He has woken up a few times, which the doctors are telling us is good news,” she said. “Hopefully he’ll start to improve, and will be okay.”
“There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood. I have three small ones myself,” said Marlo Sanchez, who lives a few houses away from where the crash occurred.
Sanchez said he got home shortly after 7 p.m., just before the child was hit.
“Not even a couple of minutes later, I hear a lady screaming, and screaming really bad,” he said.
She was screaming in Spanish, he said, so he got his father to translate.
“She was saying, ‘My kid is dead. My kid is dead. Help! Help!’” said Sanchez.
Fortunately, medics arrived quickly and got the boy to the hospital.
Police said the boy was playing in the front yard, where he lives on Longmore Drive, and went into the road. The truck hit the boy, stopped, and then fled.
Sanchez said speeding has been a big problem in the neighborhood for years.
“People turn into this neighborhood just speeding, and they’re gone,” he said. “I’m constantly yelling at cars to slow down, and people wave to me with one finger.”
Sanchez said he would like to see speed bumps and more police patrols.
“When you’re in the neighborhood, you’ve got to have your head on a swivel looking for those little kids,” said Gray.
“I’m scared,” said Sanchez. “We had to put a fence in, so I don’t let my kids out on the road. It’s scary.”
While police look for the driver of the truck, they’d still like to hear from anyone who knows anything about the crash. Anyone with information has been asked to contact the Unified Police Department.