Tipster knows whose car hit and killed Lakewood boy, lawyer says
LAKEWOOD — A school district lawyer says he's gotten a tip that could help police find the person who hit a father and teen son, killing the 15-year-old,
Jesus Lopez-Ramirez, 37 and his 15-year-old son Jesus Lopez-Grande were walking along Oak Street on Friday around 9 p.m. when they were struck by a dark-colored 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which was recovered by Lakewood police in a Toms River driveway on Sunday afternoon, police have said.
Lopez-Ramierz suffered an elbow injury. The teen was badly hurt and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
In video of a press conference posted on the Lakewood Scoop website, Lakewood Board of Education General Counsel Michael Inzelbuch -- who has offered up a $3,600 reward for information in the case -- said the person who reported the location of the Jeep has now also identified its owner.
Inzelbuch told the Lakewood Scoop he was told the driver was a man who "panicked" after realizing it wasn't a deer that he hit. Inzelbuch during his press conference did not disclose the man's name but said he was not from Lakewood. He said he turned all the information over to Lakewood police.
Lakewood police spokesman Lt. Greg Staffordsmtih would not confirm the information and told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that his department along with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office are still investigating the circumstances of the crash.
"We have not released the name of the deceased, nor have we released any information with regard to the operator of the vehicle. This is an active investigation and that information will be released when appropriate," Staffordsmith wrote.
Lakewood school superintendent Laura Winters identified the boy in a letter posted to the district website.
Inzelbuch told the Scoop the tipster would get the reward if the man is tried and convicted.
At a vigil Sunday night, Inzelbuch said Lopez-Grande was walking home from his job at Dunkin' and his father met him halfway like he always did, according to the Asbury Park Press' report on the vigil.
Lakewood High School Principal Ebony Rivera told the Asbury Park Press Lopez-Grande wanted to “see the world” and join the military after high school.
"He was the kindest person I've ever met in my life," a friend told ABC 7 Eyewitness News
The "Albert area Jewish community" created a GoFundMe to assist the boy's family.
Inzelbuch did not immediately return messages on Monday afternoon.
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