Teen Killed in Fiery Hit-and-Run Is ID'd

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Escondido police are asking the public to help find suspects wanted in connection with a hit-and-run accident.

    A minivan and a black Lexus sedan collided near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Elmwood Street at about 2 a.m. on Sunday, causing the minivan to catch on fire, according to investigators. The driver of the minivan, 18-year-old Miguel Rojas, died of his injuries.

    "He was coming from his aunt's house to pick up his brother," said Rojas' cousin Jose Mendoza. "I don't know if he was speeding, but the car hit him, and [the minivan] burst into flames."

    Police said the driver of the Lexus and an unspecified number of passengers fled the scene on foot.

    At least one occupant of the Lexus, however, was being treated at an area hospital on Sunday night, according to police. Still, public officials are calling on the public to help identify all the occupants of the Lexus.

    Family and friends placed candles and flowers at the scene of the crash on Sunday afternoon. They were also asking passing motorists for donations to try to raise donations for Rojas' family.

    "We're not really wealthy," Mendoza said. "We're just trying to give him a good funeral, trying to bury him, trying to have a nice ceremony."

    Rojas was trying to make a fresh start, his cousins said, working hard at his construction job for his infant son.

    Mendoza said he would miss everything about his cousin.

    "Him being around, being able to talk to him, being able to hold him, shake his hand, everything," Mendoza said. "Not one thing I won't miss about him."

    Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact traffic investigator Scott Walters at 760-839-4939.