6-year-old boy struck & killed by a vehicle in east Charlotte

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A young boy was struck and killed by a vehicle in east Charlotte Sunday afternoon. Family members and neighbors say someone struck 6-year-old Anthony Santos Castellon-Rivera with a white work van and drove off. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are looking for the driver.

“When I look out the window, I saw a kid laying on the road,” said Noe Palominos, who saw the crash.

Police say the boy was hit while he and his family were crossing Eastway Drive at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Anthony was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with life threatening injuries, according to Medic. Police say the child died from injuries sustained in the hit-and-run.

Witnesses told police the driver of the van stopped, got out of the van, then got back in to drive away.

“I saw a white van in front of the boy he hit, and he panicked I’m pretty sure, and he just drove off,” said Ashley Machuca, a 10-year-old girl who also saw the crash. She is a friend of Anthony.

Later in the evening, family members, friends and neighbors gathered for a prayer vigil.

Family members could not hold back tears while remembering Anthony.

Palominos says he knows Anthony and his family only in passing, but he, too, is still shaken up.

“It was very scary. I feel so sad for that little kid,” Palominos said.

The police tape that blocked off the street earlier in the afternoon while detectives were investigating is now being used to hold up flowers friends and neighbors have left behind for Anthony and his family.

Machuca says she wants police to find the man who did this.

“It’s not fair for an innocent little boy just getting hit by a car. That’s just sad,” Machuca said.

Police say they are looking for a Hispanic man in his mid-30s with curly black hair. He was reportedly wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.

The van is described as having a ladder rack on top with a possible South Carolina license plate.

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