11-year-old killed in hit and run crash - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

11-year-old killed in hit and run crash

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Ronnie Chavez Ronnie Chavez
Aaron Arnold Aaron Arnold
Jason Arnold Jason Arnold

Ronnie Chavez tells us that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he took off because he was scared, but the victim's father says that in this case, there should be no excuses.

"He left him in the hot street..he could have put a shirt on him or something," said Jason Arnold, Aaron's father.

Fighting to keep his composure, Jason is still trying to come to terms with this tragedy and how anyone could leave his son dying in the street.  A boy he describes as his baby, a little brother, a BMX rider with talent and a heart unlike any other kid his age.

"I don't believe the dude intentionally hit my son..regardless, he knew he hit him..he could have stopped, he should have stopped," said Jason.

"Once I was already scared and was already a quarter mile from home..that's when I decided in the panic of the moment to continue to go," said Chavez.

His wrists bound my handcuffs, wearing a striped jail uniform, 24-year-old Chavez talked exclusively to FOX 10 about the accident he was involved in last Friday.

"I see a vehicle in front of me stopped..I look to my right..I see a kid successfully crossing the street," he said.

What Chavez says he didn't see was a second boy.  11-year-old Aaron Arnold was hit and later pronounced dead at the scene.  Chavez, who was arrested earlier this year in connection with what police call a major drug organization, says he panicked and fled.

"The reason why I left the scene of the accident was because with my bond situation, I was almost right or wrong, probably going to be spending the night here," he said.

Chavez disputes reports that he abandoned the truck he was driving, saying he parked it at his apartment complex where he had previous obligations.  He checked on his dog before returning to the scene with his father, a retired Chandler police officer.

He apologizes to Aaron's family for what happened and for leaving the scene, but believes he did the right thing by going back.  Aaron's father says there's no getting over the death of his son.

"I live for my kids..I would do anything," he said.

Aaron's father tells us that his son wasn't wearing his helmet while he was crossing the street, he wasn't in a crosswalk, but that he knew he had to go back and get that helmet.

Aaron will be laid to rest on Wednesday.  His father also tells us that all the kids in Chandler will ride their bicycle to the bike park after the funeral.

As for Chavez, he says he wasn't impaired and passed two field sobriety tests.  The police report has yet to be released.  The case he's out on bond for is still pending.

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