DENVER (CBS4) – An 11-year-old victim of a fatal hit-and-run was known to friends and family as having a good heart.
Michael Espinoza was killed in the hit-and-run Sunday while walking home with his cousin from the Denny’s restaurant located at Federal Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue.
Espinoza’s father, Brian Martinez, who lives in Trinidad, drove to Denver as soon as he heard about the accident. He said his son and older cousin were leaving the Denny’s when the hit-and-run happened down the street — and the cousin saw it all happen.
“He had the biggest heart. He loved everybody. He’d do anything for anybody,” Martinez said.
“My cousin says that there was street racing going on. I was actually in a car passing by,” Espinoza’s sister Shaionnie Lopez said.
Lopez said their family is trying to deal with the sudden loss of Espinoza, a child who loved football and is known for having a good heart.
Police arrested Oswaldo Lopez, 21, for the deadly hit-and-run. Detectives said evidence left at scene led them to Lopez’s home in Aurora.
“I just hope that guy gets what he deserves for what he’s done to my son. It was wrong,” Martinez said.
Oswaldo Lopez doesn’t have a criminal history but is now facing vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident charges.
“He could have stopped and had some dignity — to see if my brother was okay — because now my brother has lost his life,” Shaionnie Lopez said.
Espinoza’s family is planning a candlelight vigil at the accident scene Tuesday at 7 p.m. They’ve also set up a fund under Michael Espinoza’s name at Wells Fargo bank.