Deputies arrest driver after hit-and-run crash in Vista that killed 17-year-old boy

Posted at 8:38 PM, Nov 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 02:21:27-05

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A driver was arrested Monday night after a hit-and-run crash in Vista that left a 17-year-old boy dead.

Sheriff's officials, citing witnesses and evidence at the scene, said 17-year-old Jose Maldonado was crossing N. Santa Fe Avenue at E. East Drive just before 7:20 p.m. when a dark-colored SUV driven by a 22-year-old man hit him and drove away.

Witnesses told 10News Jose was carrying papers with him as he crossed the street, and they were strewn all over the pavement when he was struck.

"I live just down this street," One of Jose's friends, Ashley Figueroa, said. "So it hurts me to pass this street all the time."

The crash and subsequent investigation forced the closure of lanes on Santa Fe Avenue for several hours.

According to sheriff's officials, deputies tracked down the driver in San Marcos and arrested him just before 11 p.m.

Sheriff's officials said, "At this time, alcohol or drugs does not appear to be a factor in the collision."

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

"He was always full of joy. He would always be there for you if you needed someone to talk to," Figueroa said. "I miss him."

Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe for Jose's family to help pay for funeral expenses.