“Forever Missed”: Toddler Struck in Hit-and-Run Mourned

Family members on Friday said tearful goodbyes to a little 2-year-old boy nicknamed JR who died after spending days in a coma since being struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Outside the home of Jonathan Montes, family and friends decorated the fence for a celebration of his young life.

"He had a personality that was just so alive," said Jonathan's grandmother Melody Hatampa. "He changed our lives. He's still changing lives because everybody's coming to remember him."

His aunt, Sarah Hatampa, broke down in tears while holding his picture.

"He really means a lot," she said. "He's going to forever be missed."

Jonathan was struck after playing with his 5-year-old brother in their driveway on Perris Hill Road in San Bernardino on Tuesday. When JR saw their uncle standing across the street from their home, he darted into the path of a car.

Jonathan was struck by an unknown driver who was allegedly speeding, officials said.

"The car didn't stop at all. It just kept going. It just drove off," said his uncle, Nicholas Ortega.

Ortega said the impact sent the boy flying 100 feet down the road. The child's mother immediately performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Jonathan's family had been hopeful he would come out of his coma, since they started to see some color in his face on Thursday. He died later that night, according to the boy's aunt, Christina Montes.

CHP officers say its unclear why the driver didn't stop.

Neighbors say they have surveillance video that could help catch the culprit as police continue to search for the driver.

Ortega said the community support for his nephew, including donations to JR's gofundme page, have been tremendous for their family.

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