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Cleveland boy, 5, dies Friday after a hit-and-run on way to school

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CLEVELAND - A child was struck and killed by a vehicle on Cleveland’s west side Friday morning.

Israel T. Thornton, 5, was walking to school on Denison Avenue at West 37th with his cousin when he was hit by a car just after 7 a.m., according to police.

He was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center but died there as a result of his injuries.

Officers said the driver of the vehicle continued eastbound on Denison Avenue, just North of the Cleveland Zoo. Police are looking for a light-colored SUV or caravan that may have damage to the grill or the area below. The license plate number is unknown right now.

The Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the incident. Other vehicles were traveling in the area at the time of the incident and investigators think other drivers may have seen the hit-skip vehicle. 

A spokesperson with Breakthrough Schools said Thornton attended Village Prep, a Cleveland charter school. Officials say grief counselors will remain at the school until the end of next week.

Friday also marks "Molly Day," which is the day Senator George Voinovich's daughter, Molly, was struck and killed on her way to school years ago. During a Molly Day event, Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon asked for a moment of silence to honor Thornton.

Read more on WEWS Cleveland.

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