Search continues for hit-and-run driver

By Ed Brock

Jorge Chavez Gualito sat and shook his head on the porch of the house where he saw his little brother get hit and killed by a driver who never even slowed down.

Gualito, 19, was at a loss of words to express his feelings about the death of his brother, 10-year-old Juan Fernandez Chavez Gualito, who was hit by a vehicle on Curtis Drive in Forest Park Saturday afternoon. And he could only shrug when asked what he would like to say to 25-year-old Alberto Salinas of Ellenwood, the man Forest Park police are looking for in connection with the accident.

Salinas' wife and child are still at home, Forest Park Police Capt. Robert Cotrell said.

"We don't have any idea where Mr. Salinas is going. He's probably scared and trying to figure out what to do," Cotrell said. "Hopefully he'll do the right thing and turn himself in."

Salinas has been charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license.

The victim and his family were visiting from Garland, North Carolina and many of them were gathered in front of the house when the accident occurred just before 12:30 p.m., Gualito said. Gualito said the vehicle that hit his brother, identified by police as a gray 1995 Ford Ranger Supercab, was going very fast when it hit the boy just a few yards away from his family.

Gualito said his parents, Jorge Chavez and Lilia Gualito, as well as the rest of the family, were very upset. Juan was a fourth grade student at Bladen Lakes Primary school and was a good boy who studied hard.

"He was fun to be around," Gualito said through a translator.

Gualito said that the neighbors have been very helpful. In the house next door Maria Saucedo said she hasn't allowed her children to ride in the street all day and she doesn't know when they'll ride out there again.

The accident was especially hard on 7-year-old Orlando Galavan who lives in the same house with Saucedo.

"He is nervous because he played with (Juan)," Saucedo said.

Each time her 3-year-old son Andrian rode his bicycle down the driveway toward the road on Monday, Sauscedo called him back with urgency in her voice.

The truck police believe Salinas is driving also has yellow flames down the side and sustained heavy front-end damage. Salinas' license plate number is ARI 0845.

Anyone with information on Salinas' whereabouts is asked to call (404) 366-4141 or 911.