INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police are searching for the driver who hit and killed 14-year-old boy Wednesday night in a residential area on the city’s northwest side.
Police on Thursday identified the boy as Luis Daniel Patiño-Ortega. They were called to the hit-and-run about 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 2200 block of West Coil Street. That’s off Michigan Road just north of West 64th Street.
The driver rear-ended Luis while the boy was riding his motorized minibike, police said. Next, the driver ran from the scene with the car keys and left the car behind. Police have not indicated if they have identified a suspect.
As the family awaited justice, they also mourned the loss of a loving son and brother. They said everyone in the neighborhood knew Luis. He would often ride by on his minibike and wave at people when they were outside.
“Every day I see him and maybe two or three of his siblings, riding up and down the street constantly, every day,” said neighbor Reina Lumbreras.
On Wednesday evening, he was alone riding his minibike.
Maria Pimentel-Gannon, a family friend, said, “He went out and ran an errand and came back and everything was fine. Then he went out and ran another errand and he never came back.”
Luis was described as being on the autism spectrum. His family said he was quiet and usually kept to himself at school, but recently he had started to break out of his shell.
“He didn’t have a lot of friends, but something he liked to say was, ‘I have a lot of friends. They just don’t know they are my friend yet,'” Pimentel-Gannon said.
Luis’ family said he was a helper. He loved going to work with his mom and dad but would never accept any money for work he would do beside them. His family said his dream was to go to college and learn a trade so that he could take of care of his parents when they were old.
The driveway of the family home on Thursday was full of family, friends and even strangers who offered support during the difficult time. “That is all I could ask for right now, literally the best support that I can get right now,” said Jenifer Arroyo, who is Luis’ godmother.
Luis’ mother said she and other residents of West Coil Street had previously worried about the way people drive on their neighborhood.
The neighbor, Lumbreras said, “Constantly I see cars all day long when I am outside on my porch flying through here.”
The family friend, Pimentel-Gannon said, “She was so afraid that somebody was going to get killed, and that is when she stopped talking. I never thought it was going to be my child that was going to get killed.”
The family is asking that whoever is responsible for Luis’ death comes forward and admit to what they did and apologize. Anyone with information on what happened is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.