ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A seven-year-old boy is dead after he and his father were struck in a hit-and-run crash while leaving Sunday night’s River of Lights event in southwest Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Police Department reports the child and his family were using a crosswalk at Central Ave. and Tingley Dr. when a dark-colored off-highway vehicle ran a red light, hitting the boy and his father.
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APD reports that a family of four pedestrians was walking southbound across Central Ave. after leaving the River of Lights and were walking to Tingley Beach where their vehicle was parked when a gray or dark-colored off-highway vehicle traveling westbound on Central at a high rate of speed ran the red traffic signal. Police state the vehicle struck two of the pedestrians that were walking in the crosswalk.
Authorities state video evidence showed that during the crash the pedestrians were crossing the intersection in the crosswalk and that the pedestrian crossing signal was illuminated, allowing them the right of way. After the crash, the vehicle continued westbound on Central without stopping and fled the scene.
A seven-year-old boy was struck and died at the scene while his father, who was also hit, sustained serious injuries and was transported to UNMH where is in stable condition. The vehicle involved in the crash and the driver have not been located or identified at this time.
“We did contact officers in other area commands. The vehicle went westbound from this scene. We contacted BCSO and we have others looking for the vehicle,” said APD Communications Director Gilbert Gallegos.
There is no word on the condition of the boy’s mother and another family member. Authorities say speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.
“This, in particular, I think there is no rhyme or reason for it. There was people coming from an event, from a family event during the holiday season and it’s just devastating for this family to have to deal with something like this,” said Gallegos.
Police say there have been ATVs seen speeding downtown in recent weeks. In response to that and a number of pedestrian crashes recently, police are planning to better monitor some intersections with cameras.
APD has released photos of the vehicle in question which is believed to be grey or black and does not have a windshield. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 242-COPS. The investigation is ongoing.