Apple Valley

Man Arrested in Connection With ATV Hit-and-Run That Killed 2 Children

Jacob Martinez and 11-year-old friend Christina Bird were killed in a Fourth of July weekend ATV crash in the Apple Valley desert.

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An Apple Valley resident has been arrested in connection with a heart-breaking hit-and-run that happened over the Fourth of July weekend involving off-road vehicles that left a 12 and 11-year-old dead.

Edgar Ivan Galindo Diaz was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run, the California Highway Patrol said.

Galindo Diaz turned himself in July 12, authorities said.

For the first time, we're hearing from the father of a 12-year-old boy, who was killed by a hit and run driver during an off-roading trip in the high desert. Tony Shin reports on the NBC4 News at 4pm on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

He is the registered owner of the 2021 Polaris RZR, an off-road ATV, believed to have been used in the deadly crash.

The ATV was discovered on his property July 7, and based on that evidence, authorities issued an arrest warrant.

On July 2, 12-year-old Jacob Martinez, nicknamed Jakey-Jake, and his 11-year-old friend Christina Bird were killed in an off-road crash in the Apple Valley desert. A cross was placed at the site about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles in memory of the two children.

"My son had a lot of hopes and dreams," said Humberto Martinez, the boy's father. "One of his main goals was to become a doctor so he could take care of his dad when he was old.

"He was just an innocent boy."

The crash happened during a July 4 weekend camping trip with family and friends in the Stoddard Valley OHV Area. The children were riding an ATV at about 9 p.m. near the campsite when they were struck by another vehicle.

Jacob's helmet flew off, and he died at the scene, family members said. Christina died Wednesday at a hospital.

The driver of the other ATV stopped briefly, but then turned off the headlights and slowly drove away from the scene, witnesses said. A front fender from the vehicle was left at the scene.

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