Fresno boy killed crossing the street

FRESNO, Calif.

According to a witness at the scene, 6-year-old Jamal Ayesh and a slightly older boy had just left a Ramadan celebration at an Islamic center when they attemped to cross the street and go to a nearby convenience store.

The witness told officers the boys didn't have the right of way and the driver of an ocoming SUV didn't appear to see them around 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

"Generally we have several pedestrians a year struck and lose their life, but what we've seen recently is an abberation in the fact they're children that are being struck and that captures the heart of a community," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Police say 6-year-old Jamal Ayesh and another boy had just left a Ramadan celebration at a nearby Islamic center when they attempted to cross the street to buy a drink at a nearby seven-eleven.

"When they got to the intersection, based on a witness that was at the location, saw the slightly older boy start to run southbound across the intersection in the crosswalk and he was followed by the six year old boy," Chief Dyer said.

At the same time a 35-year-old driver of an SUV was headed home from work on Herndon. According to the witness the driver had a green light, and the boys should not have crossed.

The older boy made it to the median without getting hurt - but ayesh was still in the crosswalk and was killed on impact.

"The district does extend its heart and prayers to these families in hopes that the community will rally around them," Central Unfied Superintendent Mike Berg said.

Since the crash occured Action News has learned Ayesh was a Central Unified student and would have entered the second grade next week at River Bluff Elementary School.

While the district prepares to have counselors on hand for students and staff, members of the community are trying to come to terms with what happened.

Chief Dyer says the driver has been cooperative throughout the investigation. He says the man was not impaired and actually volunteered to have his blood drawn on scene.

He also says the driver did not appear to be speeding. As for the children, Dyer says the boys may have left the celebration without their parent's knowledge - a celebration with hundreds of people in attendance.

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