Crime

CHP searching for Livingston fatal hit and run suspect

The family of a hit-and-run victim is asking for the public’s help in finding the driver responsible for killing 16-year-old Raymond Martinez on Sunday night outside of Livingston.

Martinez, a Livingston High School sophomore, was riding his bike along Walnut Avenue just west of Sultana Drive about 8:30 p.m. when a silver vehicle struck him and fled the scene without stopping, according to Officer Moises Onsurez of the California Highway Patrol.

Martinez’s older brother, Omar, was also riding his bike.

Omar, 19, looked on as his younger brother was airlifted to Emmanuel Medical Center in Turlock. Raymond was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later, officers said.

Now, the Martinez family is asking the driver of the silver car to surrender to police.

“Our family has been torn apart by this. It’s not fair that they (the driver) get to go about their regular life like nothing happened,” said Brittiany Martinez, Raymond’s older sister.

Raymond was the youngest of four siblings, Brittiany said.

The two brothers were using the flashlight setting on their cellphones to light their path.

Though Omar didn’t get a good look at the car, he guessed it was a smaller car, possibly a Honda or Toyota, Brittiany said. Pieces of the vehicle remained at the scene of the crash.

Brittiany said Raymond loved playing his Xbox and sports. He hoped to attend Fresno State and earn football and academic scholarships before pursuing a career as an FBI agent.

“He was the nicest kid you could ever meet,” Brittiany said. “He was always try to make you smile or laugh. Everybody loved him.”

Livingston High students and staff are on spring break this week, but principal Mandy Ballenger said counselors will be available when classes resume on Monday.

“He was a very well-liked student,” Ballenger said. “We’re all really sad about it. We’re just hoping our students and staff can work through it. I know many staff who have expressed it’s going to be tough coming back.”

Alex Gonzalez, the football coach at Livingston High, said he was in shock when he heard the news Monday morning. Gonzalez said he would miss Raymond, who wore the No. 59 jersey and played defensive end for the junior varsity team.

“He just played really hard,” Gonzalez said. “He loved playing with his friends. My prayers are with the Martinez family.”

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact the California Highway Patrol at 209-356-2956.

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