Police search for hit-and-run driver; Victim ID'd

Police search for hit-and-run driver; Victim ID'd
Scene of fatal hit/skip accident on West 37th and Dension Ave.
Scene of fatal hit/skip accident on West 37th and Dension Ave.

Cleveland Police and detectives are seeking the public's help in finding the driver and vehicle involved a hit-and-run that killed a little boy Friday morning.

The deadly accident happened just before 7:30 a.m. on West 37th and Dension Ave.

Police say Israel T. Thornton, 5, was walking to school when he was hit in the middle of the road.

"I see him and his mom every day waiting for the school bus," eyewitness Sherri Powell said. "She was hysterical, shaking, crying, screaming."

Police say that the driver of the vehicle fled the scene after striking the child.

"I saw the boy laying in the street They were pumping him trying to get his heart working. It's hurtful," added Sherri.

Thorton was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.

Roseann Canfora, a spokesperson for Cleveland Schools, confirms that Thorton was a student at Village Prep, a charter school in Cleveland.

Several Success Tech students witnessed the horrible accident as they rode the bus to school.

Canfora says that both schools are offering what they refer to as Social Emotional Learning support to all students who are dealing with what happened this morning.

Police report that other vehicles were traveling in the area at the time of the incident and other drivers may have seen the hit skip vehicle.

Authorities urge everyone to keep their eyes open for a light colored SUV or caravan that they say may have damage to the grill or below.

"The people that did this need to come forward for the family's sake," said Sherri.

The family will be holding a vigil for Israel Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Denison Ave. at W. 37th St.  The public is welcome.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the hit skip vehicle or the driver of the vehicle, or anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Second District at 216-623-5200 or the Hit Skip Unit at 216-623-5191.  Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463 or via text message: text TIP657 plus your message to Crimes (274637).

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