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Police arrest suspect in hit-and-run that left 4-year-old El Paso boy critically injured

El Paso Police detectives arrested the alleged hit-and-run driver accused of running over a four-year-old boy and driving away without rendering aid.

The wreck happened on the 9400 block of Ariel Rico on May 6, 2018. Four-year-old Jace Contreras was critically injured when he was struck by an SUV. His family told ABC-7 both of his legs were broken and he suffered a skull fracture.

Investigators received a tip from a concerned citizen that led to a judge issuing an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Joshua David Avila. Avila surrendered himself to arrest at the Central Regional Command and he was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility for “Accident Involving Serious Bodily Injury” under a $3,000 bond.

A criminal complaint affidavit obtained by ABC-7 states Avila allegedly confessed to being the driver who struck Jace.

The boy’s father, Jacob Contreras, told ABC-7 he treated his son to some dessert from an ice cream truck. Jacob said Jace took a step onto the street to head home, but did not see the SUV heading his way.

“When he got hit I thought he was dead. It was so intense. I have never seen anything like that,” Jacob Contreras said.

“The truck came really fast. He didn’t even bother to stop. He just kept on going,” said neighbor Janessa Jacquez, who told ABC-7 she witnessed the hit-and-run.

On Tuesday, Jacob said the family is happy there is finally an arrest.

“We’re stoked. There’s no other word for it,” he said. “We’re so happy.”

Jacob said Jace has already made many milestones in his recovery. The 4-year-old is out of the hospital and at home.

“Seeing him able to get up again and laugh and be a child again. That’s all we wanted,” Jacob said.

The parents have a Go-Fund Me page for Jace’s medical expenses. To donate click here.

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