9-year-old boy killed in hit-and-run crash in Orange

ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- A 9-year-old boy was killed in the city of Orange after being struck by a motorist who then fled the scene.

Police say the child, identified by family members as Jesse Rosales, was struck at North Glassell and Wilson streets around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

A witness told Eyewitness News that Jesse was crossing the street along a crosswalk when he was struck. That witness said the car that struck Jesse appeared to be racing another vehicle.

Police could not confirm the racing aspect, but said the two cars that the witness saw blew through a red light before the crash took place. Authorities said Jesse was crossing the street with his older sister when he was hit by at least one vehicle. His sister was not injured.

Neighbor Rebecca Gonzales said Jesse and his 15-year-old sister were walking across the street to their mother, who was waiting at the other end.

"So his mom saw everything. So she just couldn't do anything. We just heard her screaming," Gonzales said.

Jessie Rosales

Jessie Rosales, 9, is shown in a photo provided by his family to Eyewitness News.


Police said Jesse's sister, 15, was not injured in the incident.

Both cars fled the scene and ended up crashing at North Glassell Street and Taft Avenue several blocks away. Investigators said the two drivers, identified as 26-year-old Miguel Villagomez Jr. and 51-year-old Jerro Roderick, were arrested and booked into Orange County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. Police said Roderick incurred an extra charge of hit-and-run resulting in death.

Miguel Villagomez Jr., 26, left, and Jerro Roderick, 51, right, were arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.

Police said there was no evidence to support that alcohol was a factor.

Several bystanders say motorists drive too fast along Glassell Street. They want increased police presence to slow drivers down.

The incident was under investigation. If you have any information about this case, you're urged to contact the Orange Police Department at (714) 744-7444.
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