A manhunt is underway as the NYPD searches for the driver of a tricked-out pickup truck who ran over a 5-year-old East Elmhurst boy in a fatal hit-and-run near 100th Street and McIntosh Street on Thursday evening, Sept. 1.
Police from the 115th Precinct responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle just before 5:30 p.m., where officers discovered a youngster lying in the roadway with severe trauma to his head and torso, police said.
EMS rushed the boy to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
On Friday morning, Sept. 2, the NYPD identified the boy as Jonathan Martinez, who lived just two blocks away from the crime scene near the Helen Marshall Playground and P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School.
A preliminary investigation by the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad determined that a white Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling northbound on McIntosh Street, which had recently been repaved, with no center-line or crosswalks painted yet, when it turned southbound onto 100th Street, striking the 5-year-old.
The youngster was with his family and they were attempting to cross 100th Street when the boy was struck by the pickup truck and was dragged for several yards as the driver fled the scene, police said. A GoFundMe was organized by a family friend to raise money for funeral costs.
“Jonathan was the sweetest and brightest boy,” the GoFundMe read. “He loved singing and dancing and worshiping the lord. He loved all Spider-Man and car toys. His best friends were his brother Joel, Joshua and his sister Joanna. His personality lightened up the whole room and filled all of our hearts. His family, friends and church will forever miss Jonathan. We do not want his parents to worry about funeral cost at any sort.”
Police on Saturday, Sept. 3, released surveillance video and images of the vehicle believed to have struck the child.
There have been no arrests and the NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad continues to investigate.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said that this tragic accident should have never happened.
“Dangerous drivers should be removed from our streets, and more safety measures like safety cameras and lower speed limits near our schools and public parks must be implemented everywhere so that these tragedies stop happening,” Richards said. “Our hearts go out to the Jonathan’s family.”