Police expand search for hit-and-run driver accused of killing Atwater teen

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A North Valley community is mourning the loss of an Atwater teenager as police search for the hit-and-run driver accused of killing him. (KFSN)

A North Valley community is mourning the loss of an Atwater teenager while police expand their search for the hit-and-run driver accused of killing him.

Atwater police say 16-year-old Eric Ruiz was killed before midnight on Saturday. Officers found his body near Shaffer Road and Della Drive. The Atwater High School teen's friends gathered for a small vigil to pay tribute to the good student who died at the scene.

Detectives are describing the driver's car as a black or gray Honda Civic. Family members are asking the suspect to come forward.

"This is hurting my family and I hope they have a heart that they can come forward and give us closure on what happened and for them to have peace with themselves," said Corina Rojas.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from Thomas Olaeta Elementary located just across the scene of crash. Any witnesses are asked to call Atwater police.

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crimetrackerhit and runhit and run accidentcrashcar crashtraffic accidenttraffic fatalitiesmerced countyAtwater
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