Friends, 11 and 12, Killed in Hit and Run While Riding Their ATV: 'They Did Not Deserve This'

Jacob Martinez and Christina Bird were off-roading together on Saturday when they were struck by a Polaris UTV and left to die

Jacob Martinez and Christina Bird
Jacob Martinez; Christina Bird . Photo: GoFundMe (2)

Two families are in mourning after two best friends were killed in Apple Valley, Calif. over the holiday weekend.

Jacob Martinez, 12, and his 11-year-old friend Christina Bird were off-roading together on a 2019 TaoTao ATV (All Terrian Vehicle) when they were hit by an orange Polaris UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) around 9 p.m. July 2 on Stoddard Wells Road.

The driver of the UTV, also known as a Side-by-Side (SxS), fled the scene. A passerby found the children near the Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Recreation area.

The pair, who were described as more like brother and sister as they were so close, were found next to each other, FOX11 reports.

Jacob died at the scene. Christina was transported to St. Mary's Hospital and was later flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center for treatment. She died Wednesday morning, the girl's uncle told KTLA.

The GoFundMe set up to help Jacob's family with funeral costs describes the 12-year-old as the "sweetest most warm-hearted little boy whose life was cut way too short."

'There are no words to describe the void he leaves behind, our family is devastated by this tragic loss," the GoFundMe reads. "This was a very tragic and unexpected loss, no one should ever be prepared for. No parent should ever have to bury their child."

Christina, or Tina as she was known, is described in the GoFundMe created by her mom Felicia Nunez and her uncle Ernie Nunez as "a huge love bug."

"She also loved to dance and make TikTok videos which I could never understand but she was full of energy and showed how bright she was every day dancing. Tina loved music and would listen to it to fill her time. She loved the pool and ocean so we believed that she was part mermaid cause she wouldn't ever want to get out of the water," her family said.

Tragically on Wednesday, they updated the fundraising page to say, "Tina has grown her pair of wings to join her Grandma and Grandpa in Heaven where she is pain-free."

As of Wednesday, no arrests have been made in the fatal crash.

"Please God we need you, they did not deserve this," Tina's family wrote. "If ANYONE has any information regarding the person who hit them PLEASE let me know I beg of you, we have only slight evidence, this is so cruel for these innocent young babies who had their whole future ahead and did not deserve this."

"It was an intentional act and they intentionally fled," California Highway Patrol officer Dan Olivas tells PEOPLE. "We are following up on all of the tips we have gotten and hopefully we will locate someone quickly."

Olivas says investigators are searching for the driver of a 2021 orange Polaris Razor Turbo S or S4. Witnesses said the UTV driver stopped briefly after the crash before driving off, NBC4 reports.

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The families have asked for the public's help.

"Whoever you are, stop being a coward and do what's right and step forward," Jacob's father Beto said, KTLA reported. "If you know who did this, please report them. If you are related to this coward, please report them."

"Jacob, daddy loves you very much and we won't stop until we get justice," his father said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Victorville CHP area office at 760-241-1186.

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