Driver in fatal Vista hit-and-run may have been 92-year-old man - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Driver in fatal Vista hit-and-run may have been 92-year-old man

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - Investigators believe they know who's responsible for a hit and run crash that killed a 15-year-old high school student.

Rancho Buena Vista High School students and staff have seen more candlelight vigils this school year than ever before. This weekend's vigil marked another loss after a driver struck and killed 15-year-old Lucas Giaconelli, a freshman student at Rancho Buena Vista High School who was skateboarding with friends along Thibido Road Friday night.

"It hit him from the back and he flew over the car and he just collapsed," a witness said.

Lucas didn't get up and the driver just kept on going, but new details in the investigation reveal the driver did return to the scene, during a vigil.

"A man driving in his car stops and asks one of the deputies what was going on. And the deputy explains it's a candlelight vigil for a hit and run accident for the night before and the man says, 'I think I hit something at that time,'" San Diego Sheriff's Department spokesperson Jan Caldwell said.

Investigators say the 92-year-old man told them he had no idea he had hit a person.

"He was driving along and something struck his windshield, he thought it was owl because it was late at night," Caldwell said.

While forensic teams now piece the puzzle together, counselors on RBV's campus try and offer help to those who knew Lucas best.

"They do whatever they can do to allow the students to express themselves and grieve together," principal Varda Levy said.

Levy says it's been a tragic year full of losses of both current and former students. She says this last September, when a vigil was held for recent graduate Michael Pyper, who died when he lost control of his car, something in the students clicked.

"They determined then to turn it into a lesson to everyone," Levy said.

Students grouped together and formed "Teens for Safe Driving" and plan to hold a public forum to try and re-educate everyone in Vista to pay closer attention on the roads.

"I've seen my friends crying in their arms, people breaking down in classrooms, teachers, and we need to get this message out and that's my main goal of this," RBV senior Michael McKinney said.

Grief counselors were also sent to Madison Middle School in Vista, where Lucas was a student last year. District officials thought it was necessary to provide them the same support.

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