Fresno PD searches for hit-run driver who pinned toddler

May 16, 2013 12:57:21 AM PDT
Fresno police are searching for the driver of a hit-and-run collision that left a 2-year-old pinned inside an apartment building.

The accident happened in East Central Fresno on Sylmar near Olive Tuesday evening.

Neighbors said the toddler was back from the hospital Wednesday morning after sustaining cuts and bruises to his face. The chaotic scene that left the boy pinned against a wall was cleared up the next day but the 6 foot gaping hole covered with wood left neighbors talking about the horrific moments that could have ended much worse.

"All we heard were the screeching tires and then a big bang," said Johnny Castillo. Castillo was across the street when he saw a 2-door Sedan crash into the building and ran inside to pull the boy out. "All I heard was the mom saying my baby is in the room. So I immediately ran in there and took him out," said Castillo.

Castillo's heroic actions won him praise from the community and friends. "I admired his courage. He went in there when the car was still in flames and he pulled the little boy out," said friend, Leo Puig.

But the driver and passenger of the car quickly ran from the scene and have yet to be found. "I don't think the drivers that leave the scene of those collisions realize or care about the other party," said Sgt. Anthony Dewall with the Fresno Police Department.

Fresno Police are investigating the hit-and-run and looking for suspects. Local law enforcement officers said cases like this are becoming too common in Fresno. "Hit-and-run collisions are a serious epidemic in our city. About 1 out of 3 collisions is a hit-and-run. [That's] 30 percent of our total collisions," said Dewall.

Last week, a woman was pinned between a car and a tree in Central Fresno after a hit-and-run driver rammed into her vehicle. She sustained only minor injuries but investigators said in both cases, the victims were lucky their wounds weren't more severe. "It could have been worse, a lot worse," said Castillo.

The property manager for the apartment complex said costs to repair the damage could run up to $30,000.


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