4-Year-Old in Stroller Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash

The boy was being pushed across the street in a stroller when a driver struck the victim and a family member

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The godfather of a 4-year-old boy and witnesses talk about a fatal hit-and-run crash and its aftermath in Florence. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday July 11, 2014. (Published Friday, Jul 11, 2014)

    Note: An updated version of this story is here: Man Surrenders in Hit-and-Run That Killed Toddler

    A 4-year-old boy was killed and his aunt was injured after the driver of a car struck them and left the scene of the crash Thursday evening at an intersection south of downtown Los Angeles.

    The hit-and-run crash happened about 7 p.m. at Firestone Boulevard and Holmes Avenue, according to the LA County Sheriff's Department.

    Witnesses said the woman was pushing the boy  -- identified by his godfather as Evan Butterfield -- across the street in a plastic stroller when a man driving a red hatchback struck them. The child was then dragged to the next intersection before the driver turned and left the scene, witness Jeronimo Zaca said.

    The hit-and-run driver also hit a black pickup truck and a silver compact car that were stopped at the intersection. 

    "(The woman) tried to stand up, but she couldn't and somebody came, and she kept (trying) to get up so she can go and see the baby,” said Zaca, who was the driver of the black pickup truck. 

    Aerial video showed Evan's toy in the street.

    "The guys from the ambulance were like, just asking the little kid questions," a witness said. "We just saw that they were doing CPR to the little kid and then that’s when we knew the little kid wasn’t fine."

    The driver fled and his vehicle, a red Toyota Venza with an Arizona license plate, was found empty near the scene.

    Evan had just turned 4 years old last month.

    "Evan was very smart," said Robin Garrett Sr., who identified himself as the child's godfather  "I took him horseback riding at Griffith Park. I took him ice skating. When I first took him in there, he touched the ice and tasted it. Whenever I got depressed and wanted to be around somebody to give me some life, some energy, Evan was always there for me."

    Witnesses saw the crash and chased after the driver, a man, and his female passenger after they ran away from the car.

    The female passenger was taken into custody, but the driver was still being sought by police, officials said. Police are trying to get more information from the woman about who the suspected driver is.

    He is described as a 23-year-old Latino man with dark shoulder-length hair, shaved on the sides. He has a light complexion with a mustache, nose and ear piercings, and tattoos on his left arm. He was last seen wearing a dark blue and white striped short-sleeved shirt, police said.

    NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd, Toni Guinyard and Kate Larsen contributed to this report.