Friday, April 28, 2006

Police are looking for the driver of a car that hit and dragged a 4-year-old Southeast boy Thursday and then fled the scene.

Daniel Smalls of the 900 block of Wahler Place Southeast was hit at about 8:15 p.m. Thursday near Ninth Street and Valley Avenue Southeast.

Police said the boy was dragged about 70 feet.

The boy was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m.

Police said the driver of the car that hit the boy stopped briefly, pulled to the curb and then drove away.

Police describe the car as a brown four-door sedan, possibly a Saturn or a Ford Taurus. Witnesses were not able to get a license-plate number.

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that he authorized increasing the reward for information in the case from the standard $1,000 to $5,000.

“It’s terrible,” Chief Ramsey said. “To not stop is just unforgivable.”

Chief Ramsey said investigators told him that witnesses said the boy darted into traffic.

The boy’s mother, Tonya Smalls, told WRC-TV (Channel 4) that her son was walking home with his 15-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister from the nearby Boys & Girls Club. She said they tried to get out of the way of a speeding driver when the boy was hit.

So far this year, at least eight pedestrians have been killed in the District, three of them children.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to call 202/727-9099 or D.C. CrimeSolvers at 800/673-2777.

Matthew Cella

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