BAKERSFIELD, CA - The California Highway Patrol needs your help finding a hit-and-run driver who killed an 18-year-old in east Bakersfield. Officers said the teen was riding his skateboard when he was run over.
The driver slammed into 18-year-old Roberto Velasquez around 3:40 a.m. Friday at Niles Street near Pentz Street. Highway Patrol officers said the driver was speeding. Velasquez was riding his skateboard and the impact threw him 60 feet, according to the CHP.
"We're finding portions of the vehicle all over the scene, broken turn signal lenses, headlight pieces, and a piece that looks like it may be from a front bumper of the vehicle," said Sgt. Justin Olson, California Highway Patrol.
Christina Black was a family friend of Velasquez. She said he was a quiet kid who loved to skateboard. She's pleading for help finding the person who killed him.
"He was just a sweet person. He had a very gentle soul. I mean, he was just always smiling, just really giving person and he didn't deserve this at all," said Black.
"Whoever this person is needs to turn themselves in. It's not right. I feel so sorry for his mother. No parent should have to lose a child," she continued.
Highway Patrol officers are searching for an early 90's white GMC extended cab pickup. The truck has a light-colored toolbox on the back and a black strip that runs down the side of the doors. The truck will also have front-end damage from the crash, according to the CHP.
"It's sad. How could they kill someone's baby? That's someone's baby right there," said Rosa Alvarado who lives on Niles Street.
Those who live and work near the crash scene say Niles Street is known for speeding drivers. "We have this crosswalk right here with kids when they come out of school, and I'm very scared sometimes for the kids who cross by themselves," said Rocio Flores.
Rocio Flores works at Bella Salon. The accident happened right outside her window.
"There have been a couple of people getting hit, one with a skateboard. Probably like two weeks ago, a guy with a bike and it was the same street right here, Niles," she said.
"Then last night this kid, I mean, it's more often. I don't understand why. I don't know if the people driving are not paying attention. I don't know if it's them, if they think they can be in the street like that," continued Flores.
It's been almost a month since 21-year-old Anthony Saldana was hit and killed while riding his skateboard less than two miles away from where Velasquez was killed.
49-year-old Jose Villa and his passenger, 24-year-old Christian Velasquez took off, but were later arrested for felony hit and run. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
If you have any information about the crash involving Velasquez, call the CHP Bakersfield office at 864-4400.