Local News

Driver sought after hit-and-run that kills 13-year-old boy

Posted September 23, 2014 8:59 a.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2014 3:20 p.m. EDT

— The parents of a 13-year-old Wendell boy killed Tuesday morning while waiting for the school bus want the driver who hit their son and then drove off to come forward to take responsibility.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Keith Jones Jr., of 2512 Edgemont Road, was waiting in the driveway of his home around 7 a.m. when, they believe, someone driving a burgundy late-1980s or early-1990s Ford Crown Victoria hit the teen.

Investigators found numerous car parts, including Ford emblems, and they believe the car likely had damage to its right headlight area and could have other front-end damage as well.

"I could not live with something like that if I hit a child," Keith Jones Sr. said. "I will hope and I will pray, and I would like for him or her to come forward. We want to know what happened."

The boy's mother, Marie Jones, found him lying on the side of the road after noticing his book bag on the ground and him nowhere to be found.

"I picked up his book bag," she said. "It was somewhat damaged like it had been ripped off of him. That's when I knew something was not right."

She found him in a nearby ditch and tried to give him CPR.

"To know that he had been hit and hurt and lying in a ditch, that was the hard part," Marie Jones said. "Trying to save his life was easy."

Keith Jones Jr. was a student at Wendell Middle School, his parents said. He played football with a local youth league and also loved basketball.

"I don't want to lose his memory," Keith Jones Sr. said. "He was a good kid, had a good heart."

Neighbors were also shocked and saddened by the boy's death.

"I'm honestly kind of speechless right now," said Heather Preslar. "Finding him that way and knowing that whoever hit him just drove off – to me, that's somebody with no conscience."

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about the case to call the Highway Patrol, at 919-733-3861, or local authorities.

The Joneses are praying someone will.

"Please come forward and share any information that you have to hold this person accountable," Marie Jones said. "It's the right thing to do, because it's easy. As it happened to me, it could happen to you. I'm not trying to be angry, but it's hurting."