CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — An 8-year-old boy has died following a hit-and-run crash on Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Officers responded to the 1700 block of Battlefield Boulevard South around 4:15 p.m. in reference to an injured pedestrian, and when they arrived, they found an 8-year-old boy who had been hit by a vehicle. The child was taken to a local hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries, police said.
The boy’s grandmother identified him to 10 On Your Side as 8-year-old Forrest Hooper. Hooper’s grandmother lives off of Battlefield Boulevard South. She said a family member escorted Hooper to his friend’s house across the street earlier in the day.
His grandmother told us she knows the road is dangerous as people often drive above the 45 mph speed limit. She stressed to her grandson to not cross the street unless an adult was with him. She believes he was waiting for a relative along the edge of the road when he was hit.
A neighbor said the force of the impact was so hard that it knocked off the child’s shoes in opposite directions. The woman, who did not want to be on camera, was inside her home when she heard a loud noise and ran outside to find Hooper bleeding in the grass.
The suspect vehicle left the scene before police arrived, police said. At this time, they don’t have a vehicle description.
The boy’s grandmother tells us he was looking forward to his ninth birthday next Monday. She’s absolutely heartbroken and hopes whoever hit her grandson turns themselves in.
The Chesapeake Police crash investigation team and detectives responded, and are continuing to investigate the incident.
In a message from Southeastern Elementary School, where Forrest attended school:
Good afternoon, this is an important message from Tracy Cioppa, principal of Southeastern Elementary School.
It is with a heavy heart that I report to you that one of our third-grade students, Forrest Hooper has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. I also offer condolences to all the Southeastern Elementary School students and staff members, especially Forrest’s classmates, teachers, and support staff.
In addition to our school’s guidance counselors, grief counselors, and crisis counselors will be at our school for the next few days for staff and students who may need assistance throughout the day. It is our hope that our counselors can help our school community deal with this tragic loss. Please remember that your Southeastern Elementary Family is here for you, to support you however we can.
Thank you for supporting Southeastern Elementary, our faculty and our staff.Tracy Cioppa, principal, Southeastern Elementary School
Meanwhile Chesapeake’s Hickory Towing says it’s offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest. Initially, they posted that it was $5,000, but at last check, the reward is now $58,000 cash. Hickory Towing posted on Wednesday that several other local businesses reached out wanting to add to the reward to help find the person responsible for this tragedy. You can view a list of all of the reward donors on Hickory Towing’s Facebook page.
“This happened just feet away from our office and we will do everything we can to bring our neighbors justice for this tragedy,” they stated in a Facebook post.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip at p3tips.com.