Saying goodbye to a Fresno teen hit-run victim

January 3, 2013 12:24:37 AM PST
Police are still looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed David Leanos last week. The Fresno teen was found dead in the roadway at McKinley and Sonora, the day after Christmas.

David Leanos was walking in a narrow roadway on Christmas night. Sometime around midnight on the 26th he was run over by two different vehicles. Police believe he was killed by the first vehicle. The driver did not stop. The driver of the second did stop and called 9-1-1. Police say the accident appeared to have been unavoidable, because the young man was lying in the street, possibly already unconscious.

Family and friends crowded the Chapel of the Light funeral home to say goodbye to David Leanos. His father, Phil, tearfully spoke of his son.

"He wasn't the strongest of the biggest but he had the biggest heart and he tried to prove it every day."

His father told us David had some troubles, and was walking down the road that night after having an argument with family members at his grandmother's house nearby. But he wants to know what happened and why. What police have uncovered is unsettling for the family.

Andy Hall with the Fresno Police Department said, "Evidence indicates we have a 16-year-old male child who appears to be lying in the roadway at the time of the collision."

Why was he laying in the road? The coroner's report, just released indicates the boy had a blood alcohol level of .26, three times the legal limit. They speculate he could have fallen or passed out. Police say it may not have been the drivers fault, but, the driver still faces a felony charge.

"If you leave the scene of a collision involving an injury it becomes a felony, no matter what happens," Hall said. "Even if you were not at fault, you now are the suspect of a felony."

David Leanos was the city's 28th traffic fatality the last of 2012. 1/3 of those involved hit-and-run drivers. 16 of the deaths involved pedestrians. Almost all involved alcohol. But David Leanos was more than a number as Pastor Kevin Smith told those at the funeral.

"A 16-year-old young man who leaves parents and brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles and a grandmother," Pastor Smith said. "There are no words I can say today to make you feel better."

Police do have clues from the scene. They know the first vehicle that ran over David Leanos was a Toyota Camry made between 2006 and 2009.

Anyone with any information about the December 26th incident is asked to contact the Fresno Police Department.