Investigation continues after boy, 12, dies in Whiting hit-and-run

A truck driver was released from custody overnight after a 12-year-old boy was struck and killed by a semi at the corner of Indianapolis Blvd. and 119th in Whiting, Ind.
April 17, 2014 3:24:36 PM PDT
State police are investigating how a 12-year-old boy was allegedly struck and killed by a semi at the corner of Indianapolis Blvd. and 119th in Whiting, Ind. Wednesday

State police are investigating how a 12-year-old boy was allegedly struck and killed by a semi at the corner of Indianapolis Blvd. and 119th in Whiting, Ind. Wednesday afternoon while crossing the street with his brother.

The victim's brother, Michael Calzada, told authorities a semi struck the boy and then took off. After receiving a description, investigators pulled over a Decker line truck 3 miles away from the scene and detained the driver. The driver was released overnight and Lake County prosecutors have not filed any charges.

Police say the hit-and-run crash happened about 3:15 p.m.

"I think the wind of the truck, I don't know, pulled him. And then I don't know, it went so fast, and that's it, it just happened," said Calzada.

Angel Villafuerte was a fifth-grade student at Nathan Hale Elementary School. As candles were lit at the scene Wednesday night, he was remembered by family.

"He was more than a brother, he was like a friend. We did everything together," Calzada, 16, said. "He understood me, I understood him. We were complete soulmates, really."

"He was really a good kid, every time I seen him, he just made me smile," said Paula Cerda, Angel's aunt.

Friends pointed to pictures that show Angel's true personality.

"Cheerful, he laughed a lot," said Onyx Medina, Angel's friend.

Jim Wilkins, senior vice president of safety and human resources for Decker Truck Line, Inc., issued a statement expressing "deepest sympathies for the family, friends and all those affected by the tragic loss of Angel Villafuerte in yesterday's accident. Decker Truck Line is working actively to gather information and is cooperating with authorities as the investigation into this accident continues."

Julia Navarez and her two daughters placed flowers at the roadside memorial for Villafuerte.

"The trucks down here and cars in general, they really don't pay attention to stop signs or they just drive really fast and they don't pay attention to pedestrians," she said.

"If you have a little brother or sister, please care about them because you want to be in their lives for a very long time and you want to spend more time with them," said Calzada.


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