'He had a big heart and a big smile': Boy killed, grandfather injured in Aurora hit-and-run
An 8-year-old boy was killed Monday night and his grandfather was injured when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver in Aurora.
Later, a police squad car blocking traffic at the crash scene was hit by a vehicle driven by an Aurora man who was charged with his fifth DUI offense, police said.
Aurora police say the boy was crossing Lake Street (Route 31), near Plum Street, around 7:42 p.m. with his sister and his grandfather. A vehicle headed south struck Izaiah Lopez and his grandfather, 53-year-old Juan Ornelas, both of Aurora.
Izaiah was a second-grader at Gates Elementary School and on spring break, said his aunt, Evangelina Marie, who started a gofundme account to try to raise $5,000 for funeral expenses. As of Tuesday afternoon, the goal had been met.
Marie, of Aurora, said it was a weekly routine and tradition for her father to take Izaiah and his sister to a nearby park and Wendy's for dinner.
Marie said all three were holding hands when crossing the street, but Izaiah was walking a tad behind his grandfather. The car struck Izaiah, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and clipped Ornelas' ankle, Marie said. Ornelas was taken to an Aurora hospital for treatment.
"He had a big heart and a big smile. He was my best friend," Marie said of her nephew, who loved basketball, Michael Jordan and Friday night movies. "Life is precious. Hold your little one closer tonight because you don't know if you will in 20 minutes. (Police) have to catch them -- they have to."
Witnesses said the 2007 Ford Fusion drove off after the crash and was found with heavy front-end damage on Plum Street, about a block away, according to police. When police arrived, they found one man near the vehicle but another person who was in the car had ran off.
The man police found has been detained for questioning and no charges have been filed at this time, Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowley said. Police are looking for the other person and anyone with information about the crash is asked to call investigations at (630) 256-5000.
"The vehicle has been impounded and is being processed for evidence," Rowley said. "(Investigators) are trying to determine what this person's involvement was."
About 8:44 p.m., a police squad car parked at the crash scene to block traffic was hit by a different vehicle. The officer in the squad car was not injured, police said.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the squad car ran off, but was arrested a few blocks away, reports said.
John C. Lundy, 48, of the 900 block of Old Indian Trail, Aurora, was charged with felony aggravated DUI-fifth offense, driving while license revoked, misdemeanor DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and no insurance, according to police and court records.
Lundy's bail was set Tuesday at $15,000, meaning he must post $1,500 to be released from the Kane County jail while the case is pending. He is next due in court April 3 and faces a punishment of four to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most severe charge of his fifth DUI.
Staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to the this report.