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Boy killed in hit-and-run ID'd

6:44 PM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - An 11-year-old boy was killed and a suspect arrested after a hit-and-run on Federal Boulevard near Colfax Avenue Sunday night.

The boy, identified as Michael "Mikey" Espinoza, was struck around 8 p.m. His family was on scene after the accident.

Oswaldo Lopez, 21, from Aurora, is suspected of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving death. According to the police report, Lopez was traveling northbound on Federal Blvd. at 60 miles per hour at the time. The posted speed limit was 35 miles per hour.

"This is a very tragic situation when you see a child just get hit and someone drives off and leaves," said Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson. "It makes no sense."

Police issued an alert for a blue Dodge Charger with the license plate number 099-ZKG, missing the front plate after the accident.

Just before 10 p.m., police announced they obtained "evidence at the scene" that led to the vehicle and Lopez had been arrested at his home in Aurora.

Police would not confirm that the car's front plate had fallen off at the time of the crash.

Police said it did not appear that alcohol was involved, but that the investigation was still underway.

Lopez is being held without bond in the Downtown Detention Center in Denver and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.

Earlier in the evening, a motorcyclist was seriously injured in another hit-and-run at 10th Avenue and Knox Street, just a few blocks away from where the boy was killed.

Police are still searching for a dark, early-90s Chevy Blazer in that incident, with a CO license plate of 148-WXY.

Call Metro-Denver Crime Stoppers, at 720-913-STOP, if you have any information.

9News has teamed up with I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS for an investigation of the epidemic of hit-and-runs in the Denver area.

You can see those reports below, and stay tuned for more 9News reporting on the issue.

If you'd like to join the discussion on social media, we're using the hashtag #JustStop.

Watch: Exposing the hit-and-run epidemic

Watch: Frustration felt for unsolved hit-and-run cases

Watch: Inside Story on hit-and-runs investigation

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