Novi, MI – A 21-year-old illegal immigrant has been charged with a hit-and-run that killed a 14-year-old boy.
Police said that Justin Lee was riding a bike on June 11 when Miguel A. Ibarra Cerda hit him with a blue Honda Odyssey minivan and then sped away, according to the Detroit News.
Cerda, a Mexican national who is in the United States illegally, had just left his job at Burger King, and was speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road when he struck Lee and knocked him into a ditch, Wixom Police Detective Brian Cheesbro told the judge at his arraignment.
Lee, a high school freshman, was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Police investigated and recovered Cerda’s vehicle at a Wixom mobile home park. Cerda was identified through tips received by the police, the Detroit News reported.
Cerda was arrested without incident on June 12 and charged with reckless driving causing death and leaving the scene of a fatal collision, both of which are felonies, according to the Detroit News.
He was arraigned on June 14 with the help of a Spanish-speaking interpreter in the Oakland County Jail.
District Judge Travis Reeds entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Cerda, and set a cash bond at $350,000 after police officers told him they thought Cerda was trying to go to Mexico.
“We are so grateful to police for their quick work on this and making an arrest,” the victim’s mother, Pattie Warner-Lee, said outside the courtroom after the arraignment.
“I had just made him something to eat after school and he was returning a friend’s bike to him when this happened a couple block from our house,” Warner-Lee said.
The grieving mother said she’d heard stories of her son defending younger children from bullies since he was killed.
“His dreams were to go on to University of Michigan after high school to play football and study forensic science,” she said. “I believe he would have done both.”