Teen Struck By Two Hit-And-Run Drivers While Out 'Clearing His Mind' On Dead Sister's Birthday
A Southern California teen was found dead Friday after he was struck by two drivers who subsequently fled the scene.
According to his family, Jonathan Hernandez, 14, went out riding his bike on what would have been his beloved sister's birthday had she not died this past October.
According to a GoFundMe page started by Yvette Hernandez, Jonathan "was very upset and hurting and was out to clear his mind" following a day of remembrances for his sister, with whom he'd been very close.
But before the young man could find any peace, he, too, was taken away.
Just after midnight, the Ventura Police Department says the teen was struck by a white tow truck.
Shortly thereafter, a second vehicle described in a police release as a silver or light colored SUV of unknown make struck Hernandez.
Neither vehicle stopped, police say.
Jonathan's family said he was out after a day of somber celebrations of the life of his sister, Meriah.
Meriah, 17, beat leukemia as a child but suffered from a brain tumor in her teen years that eventually led to her death, Yvette Hernandez wrote in an earlier GoFundMe.
In the hours before Jonathan's death, he and his family gathered to release balloons in remembrance of Meriah.
On Saturday, friends and loved ones gathered again, this time at an impromptu memorial for Jonathan. They placed shoes, candles and food at the roadside memorial.
"The family is suffering greatly, especially with this hanging over their head now that nobody stopped for this 14-year-old boy," Pastor Samuel Howard of Life Tabernacle of Ventura told KTLA.
In just one day, Jonathan's GoFundMe page raised nearly $15,000 dollars. Yvette Hernandez hopes to use the money to post a reward for the capture of the motorists police say struck Jonathan.
"He was a typical 14 year old boy. He did not deserve to be left dying on the street," she wrotre. "Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts during this horrible tragedy."