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Driver arrested after 8-year-old's skull fractured in hit and run

Police say the boy and his family were leaving Kenner City Park when the 8-year-old was struck.

KENNER, La. — Police markings in the middle of 600 block of Vintage Drive in Kenner show where an 8-year-old boy was seriously injured in a hit and run Sunday night.

The boy and his family had just left Kenner’s City Park a few blocks away, shortly before the accident.

According to police, the child was riding a battery-powered bicycle. He tried to cross the street and was hit by a Jeep driven by 43-year-old Juan Orellana.

“Witnesses said after he did hit the child on the bike, he had stopped, he walked to the back of the vehicle,” Kenner police spokesman Lt. Michael Cunningham said. “When he saw the kid on the ground, citizens rendering aid to the child, turned around, got back in his vehicle and left the scene.”

A witness took a picture and followed Orellana to the entrance of his subdivision.

Police searched the area through the night and found the suspect and his vehicle early Monday morning.

“They found evidence on the undercarriage of the vehicle, paint transfer from the bicycle the kid was riding on,” Cunningham said.

Police booked Orellana with hit and run with serious bodily injury.

They said he admitted to driving in the area, but denied striking the boy.

Kenner neighbors say it’s hard to believe someone could leave the scene after injuring a young child.

The boy has a skull fracture and was awaiting surgery.

“It’s terrible, you know,” neighbor Danny Fender said. “Especially that he took off and left. Got out of the truck and supposedly looked at him and left."

“Who knows what goes through the mind of a person whether or not they were under any influences,” neighbor Walter Lourie said. “Clearly a lack of common sense or clear thinking at that point."

Kenner police say help from witnesses resulted in the quick arrest this case. They gave investigators a good description of the driver and his vehicle — rendered aid to the injured boy — and ultimately led investigators to the suspect.

“This is how we solve cases, “ Cunningham said.

Police confirm Orellana was arrested in 2013 for another hit and run in Kenner.

He pled no contest to hitting a parked car and was placed in a diversion program.

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