TUCSON, Ariz. - A driver hit and killed a nine year old boy, injured the boy’s brother, paused, then drove away. That's what Tucson Police say happened on Broadway late Wednesday afternoon.
Police say a mother and her two sons were in a crosswalk, making their way across Broadway near Sarnoff when someone in a light colored BMW SUV hit the boys. Witnesses told police the car did not slow down until after the impact. Then it paused as if the driver understood exactly what happened---and drove off.
The boys were active at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. The priest who leads the church says nine year old Edouard Lautaire died in the impact. His 10 year old brother Max was badly hurt. He says their mother Valentina, who emigrated from Ukraine is the poorest member of the congregation, hard pressed to cope with what happened. He says they had just moved to the neighborhood near the accident after struggling to find an apartment they could afford.
Father Andriy Chirovsky says despite their challenges the boys represent the best of the American Dream, developing the responsibility to serve at the church altar.
He says, “This is the beginning of the story of how somebody from a down trodden past can lift themselves up and become great. That's what Max will be, what Ed would have been if his life had not been cut short.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME to remain anonymous.
🚨 East & westbound Broadway Blvd is closed from Sarnoff to Maguire as officers/detectives investigate a fatal hit & run collision involving a vehicle & two young children. One child was sadly pronounced deceased. The other has serious injuries. Anyone w/info is asked to call 911 pic.twitter.com/1rSUSNN2NC— Sergeant Pete Dugan (@SgtDugan) October 1, 2020
The car will be a valuable piece of evidence. Again, it’s a champagne-colored BMW X3 SUV with Arizona license plate BJH5464. TPD says it has obvious front end damage from hitting the boys that you---or a repair shop might notice.
🚔HIT AND RUN VEHICLE IDENTIFIED🚔— Ofc. Frank Magos (@ofcrmagos) October 2, 2020
Detectives have just confirmed they are looking for a 2007 BMW X3 in connection to Wednesday's deadly hit and run. The BMW is champagne in color and should have the license plate AZ: BJH5464. Please call 911 immediately if you see it. pic.twitter.com/bG4XMsnlPF
TPD officer Frank Magos says, “We were told that this vehicle looks to be in good shape, rather clean with an Arizona license plate. So again, those that work in the auto repair industry or that have a rental car rental agency if this sounds familiar, please call 911 or 88-Crime.”
And Father Chirovsky says he hopes the driver or someone who knows the driver will develop responsibility as strong as the two boys, and go to police.
He says that’s the only way the hit and run will ever stop haunting the driver.
“This will never be away from your memory if you're watching. You will always hear the sound of that thud. You will always experience your car rolling over Edouard…. dragging his body down the street. You will always remember that. The only way that you can move forward in your life is by taking responsibility for your actions.”