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Bill would address hit-run dilemma

Citizen Staff Writer



As leads in the death of 6-year-old Trevor Lee stream in, Rep. Ted Downing, a Democrat who represents central Tucson, is drafting an amendment to keep at-fault drivers from fleeing a collision.

Downing lives in the neighborhood where Trevor, 6, was hit and killed Friday as he followed his brother across the street on the way to school.

Tucson police are still looking for the car, a dark-green, two-door Saturn with custom chrome wheels and significant damage to the front end.

Detective Tim Beam said there have been at least 20 tips called in to 88-CRIME, 911 and officers in the field. He said this is more than usual. He said the specific description of the car and the fact that a child was killed are reasons that so many calls are coming in.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Robinson said as long as information from the public comes in, chances are good that the driver will be found.

“I am confident that there is someone in this community who knows who hit that little boy besides the driver, and we need that person to come forward and do the right thing,” Robinson said.

Downing said the law would address the moral dilemma that occurs when a driver causes an accident.

“You may be in trouble, you may be at fault,” Downing said, “but you will have a little bit of a reprieve if you act right when it happens. Sometimes law can nudge, only nudge moral behavior.”

Downing said the amendment would reduce the sentence of those who stay at the scene of a collision to help the victim if criminal charges were filed and would deal with the driver’s possible intoxication at the time of the accident.

The law would presume the driver who flees is intoxicated if there is a history of a DUI or if the driver was seen consuming alcohol at a social function or was seen recently at an establishment that sells alcohol.

Downing didn’t say which bill the amendment would be added to.

“I’ll be working very hard to find any place that me and my colleagues can put this on,” Downing said. “The people expect us lawmakers, they expect me to respond.”

Lt. Michael Pryor said the vehicular offense and traffic units are working to generate leads on the hit-and-run.

He said police are “reaching out” to body shops and car dealerships to help find the car because drivers in hit-and-runs often try to repair the damage.

Ernest Galaz, principal of Holaway Elementary School, where Trevor attended kindergarten, said it has been hard on students and faculty.

“This is a very sad, somber day here,” Galaz said Monday. “Teachers are trying to provide a routine environment for students and to assess their emotional needs.”

He said students have access to a social worker and counselor through school and community resources.

Gail Leland of Homicide Survivors has been helping Trevor’s family make funeral arrangements and said family members are doing much better.

Homicide Survivors has set up a fund to help the family with funeral expenses. Donations will be accepted at:

• Homicide Survivors, Trevor Lee Fund, 32 N. Stone Ave., Suite 1408, Tucson, AZ 85701.

• Child Time Learning Center, 2972 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, where Heather Foster, Trevor’s mother, works.

For more information, call 740-5729.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call 88-CRIME or 911.

Funeral arrangements for Trevor Lee

• Friday: Visitation from 4-8 p.m. at Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery, 3015 N. Oracle Road.

• Saturday: Funeral at 11 a.m., also at Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery. A celebration of Trevor’s life will take place from 1-3 p.m. at Children’s Memorial Park, 4851 N. 15th Place, near Oracle and River roads.

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