LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for the driver in a deadly hit-and-run in Ocean County.
On Sunday night, the community came together to remember the high school student fatally struck 48 hours earlier, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.
Jesus Lopez Grande died Friday night while walking with his father along busy Oak Street. According to his guidance counselor, the 15-year-old had just finished work at a nearby Dunkin Donuts and his dad met him halfway so he wouldn’t have to walk alone. They were both struck at around 10 p.m.
Police are still searching for the hit-and-run driver who killed him.
Earlier Sunday, police located the Jeep Cherokee they say was involved in the crash. It was confiscated from a home in Toms River.
At a vigil Sunday night at Lakewood High School, friends and teachers held candles and prayed together in Lopez Grande’s memory. They said he played sports, including tennis, and loved soccer.
Kozar spoke with several of Lopez Grande’s friends, including Emmanuel Pratt. The two played tennis together.
“Jesus had so many good people around him. He had so many loving people that came together just to say to goodbye one last time, just to do everything that they could to say goodbye,” Pratt said, “and I feel if there was anyone who wasn’t here, who couldn’t make it, I feel they would feel the exact same way that we would no matter what.”
Oscar Orellana coached Lopez Grande in soccer and track and field.
“For his life to be cut short before he could reach his full potential is just a devastation, not only to his family but to our community overall. We need more people like him,” Orellana said.
“The last time I said goodbye to him was on Friday at the end of the day at school, and I didn’t know saying goodbye to him on Friday would mean saying goodbye to him forever,” friend Louis Ahuehueto said.
Lopez Grande’s 37-year-old father was injured by the hit-and-run driver but is expected to be okay, Kozar reported.
Lakewood Board of Education general counsel Michael Inzelbuch said he is offering a reward of $3,600 for information leading to a conviction and arrest in the case.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Lakewood police at (732) 363-0200.