ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators with the Colorado State Patrol say the driver suspected of hitting and killing a 2-year-old boy is cooperating with the investigation.
The 67-year-old man left the scene Monday night, but would later contact authorities after learning about the child’s death on the news.
On Tuesday afternoon, family members identified the 2-year-old as Tenzin Chokzin.
Bonnie Baxter is a neighbor and friend of the family, and one of the first to call 911.
“The image of him laying in the street just keeps coming in my head. I just keep seeing him laying there,” Baxter said.
A loud popping noise just before 7:30 p.m. Monday is what first caught her attention.
“It kind of scared me, so I looked to the street and I watched the car drive across my driveway by the mailbox,” she said.
That’s when she says she saw the driver get out.
“Kind of turns their body and looks at the car, gets in the car, and the car drives west on 156th,” Baxter said.
Baxter would later learn that Chokzin had made his way into the street while his mother was getting a bath ready.
The family believes he may have been looking for his grandmother who left moments earlier.
“Firefighters and ambulance showed up, they took him to St. Anthony’s North. They worked on him for about 30 minutes or so but he didn’t make it,” she said.
Investigators say the driver told them he thought he hit an animal, and that he did stop about 150 feet after the collision.
That driver says he didn’t see anything in the road, and didn’t have any damage to his vehicle, so he left.
Baxter says the area is very dark around that time of night. Investigators are working to determine if that may have factored into the accident and the driver’s decision to leave.
Even without those answers, through their unbearable loss the Chozkins family says they can forgive.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.