5-year-old boy killed in hit-and-run

LOMA LINDA, Calif. The boys had spent the day playing at the lake and were heading home with their mother when they were hit crossing the street at Lakeview Drive and Barlett Avenue at about 8:30 p.m.

Police said Sujana Bhandari, 32, and her two sons, 11-year-old Kushal Bhandari and 5-year-old Kushan Bhandari, were struck by a dark-colored SUV. The driver fled, leaving the family lying in the street.

Residents and motorists did what they could.

"I just walked up, right up to the young boy, and I could see that he was unresponsive," said Brandon Lindholm.

The 5-year-old was taken to nearby Bear Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Kushal Bhandari was released from Loma Linda University Medical Center on Friday, and his mother is in stable but serious condition at Loma Linda.

The Bhandari family have lived in Big Bear for several years.

"They were a nice family from Nepal," said family friend Armand Thibeault.

"They started their own business, hard working day and night. Just a tragedy that the little one was killed," he said.

"Witnesses who were at the scene say that the vehicle did stop briefly but then took off right after the accident did occur," said Arden Wiltshire from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities don't know if a man or woman was behind the wheel. The vehicle is described as an older model GMC or Chevy, 1999 or 2000 model year, possibly a two-door Tahoe, dark-colored with tinted windows. The vehicle is expected to have front-end damage.

"It could be that they simply panicked, and if they could just turn themselves in and explain what happened to authorities, we'll take it from there," Wiltshire said.

Police are asking for public's help in the case. If you have any information, you're urged to call the San Bernardino Sheriff's hotline at (800) 78-CRIME, or (800) 782-7463.

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