Police find car believed to be involved in fatal hit and run

Jaylen Hill
Jaylen Hill

EAST PRICE HILL, OH (FOX19) - Police say they may have found the vehicle involved in a hit and run crash that killed a 3-year-old boy on Wednesday.

Jaylen Hill, 3, was struck by a car on the 900 block of Fairbanks Avenue at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night. He was transported to Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police had been looking for a red Chevy Impala that was seen leaving the scene.

"There is a lot of anger," shared the fiancé of the boy's grandfather Donnette Green. "It's one thing to hit the child and it's another thing to keep on going."

Lt. Bruce Hoffbauer with Cincinnati Police says a Cincinnati Police officer had taken notes about a suspicious red Chevy Impala that was leaving the scene of a reported robbery roughly six hours earlier on Wednesday afternoon. The vehicle was seen on Steiner Avenue, not far from where Jaylen Hill was struck.

Police never found a victim from the alleged robbery, but they did note the license plate number of the car. They used that license plate number to track the car to an address in Sayler Park. Police are still working to confirm whether the car they have in their custody is in fact the vehicle that hit Hill.

"It is good old fashioned police work," Hoffbauer explained. "An officer took it upon himself to write information down that he heard broadcast on the radio … if we didn't have that we might not have any vehicle right not to look at."

Police say the owner of the vehicle has been vague in her conversations with officers.

Police have impounded the car, but for family it is still not enough.

"The car didn't drive itself down the street," Green argued. "So finding the car is nothing really, it's a start. You have a place to start to look, but the people who were behind the wheel are the ones that need to turn themselves in. They drove that car. The car didn't do it."

"It's horrible," said Cincinnati Police sergeant Michael Hudepohl. "The driver should have stopped and helped the child."

"I'm confident that somebody knows who the driver is other than the driver," Hoffbauer said. "There was a passenger in the car and there were a lot of people out on the street. Somebody has seen this car before. Someone knows who drives a car as I described."

"The people who did it: you need to come forward," Green said. "The person that was riding in that car you need to come forward or you need to be held just as accountable as the person behind the wheel because you knew what was done."

Both the family and police are also asking drivers to be extra vigilant as they head out on the streets as the weather brings more and more children outside. Police are also asking parents to be extra vigilant in watching their kids when they do head outdoors.

"We as adults and drivers need to be responsible and watch for the kids," Green said. "I know kids shouldn't run in the street, I do understand that,  but to prevent something like this just take that extra glance on the sidewalk and if you see children slow down even more."

Police say there were two black males in the car at the time of the accident.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.

This is the second time a child has been struck and killed by a vehicle in the City of Cincinnati in the past seven days. A 9-year-old girl was struck and killed in Westwood on March 16.

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