AURORA, Ill. — An Aurora family is mourning the loss of an 8-year-old boy who was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night while he was walking home from the park with his sister and grandfather.
The boy was identified as Izaiah Lopez. His family said he loved baseball and the Chicago Bulls. His father, Angelo Lopez, said that even at a young age, Izaiah understood the value of kindness.
“Him and his cousin. they used to pass out flowers at old folk’s homes, and do nice things. He loved doing nice things for everybody,” Lopez said. “He had a pure heart. He was always helping out his sisters, he loved both of his sisters. He was always protecting them, always looking over them."
On Monday evening, Izaiah and his sister were crossing the street with their grandfather at the intersection of Lake and Plum streets. They were returning home from a nearby park and a trip to Wendy’s when a car speeding south on Lake Street hit them.
“The car clipped me, and I had my grandson right here, I had my other granddaughter right here and she was a little ahead of me, and I felt something on my foot and the next thing I see him flying in the air. I heard him. Thank God he died instantly,” Juan Ornelas, Izaiah’s grandfather, said.
Ornelas was released from the hospital with a leg injury. On Tuesday, he went back to the intersection where Izaiah was hit to say a prayer where a cross was placed in honor of his grandson.
“They used to come and visit Grandpa on the weekends. This was our thing, going to the park, going to Wendy’s, and it’s just unbelievable,” he said.
The speed limit in the area was 30 miles per but some vehicles drive by much faster.
The driver who hit Izaiah did not stop, but police located the vehicle nearby shortly after the fatal hit-and-run.
Sgt. Bill Rowley, of the Aurora Police Department, said they have someone of interest in custody, but no charges have been filed.
Izaiah’s family is now asking for help with the funeral. His aunt, Evangelina Ornelas said they want to make sure he has a nice funeral.
“…I want to make sure we remember his life positively,” Ornelas said.
Izaiah's father was left to remember his pure-hearted boy, whose life was only beginning to bloom, when it was taken by a hit-and-run driver.
“I have no words for him. I just hope he suffers like my son suffers, or suffers in jail for taking my son’s life,” he said.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of the funeral.
As police investigated the incident, they found that there was a second hit-and-run — an alleged drunk driver hit a police squad car.