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'He was a selfless kid' | Teen set to graduate and join Marines killed by driver who left scene, SAPD says

Jacob Lopez went to South San Antonio High School. Authorities have since arrested the suspected driver.

SAN ANTONIO — A teenager was found dead in a ditch after San Antonio Police said the 18-year-old was hit by a car. SAPD said the teen was on his bike at the time he was hit and killed.

Then a few days later, a 66-year-old man was charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid resulting in death.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner identified the teen as Jacob Matthew Lopez and authorities have since identified the suspect as Daniel Martinez.

According to an affidavit obtained by KENS 5 on Monday, police said it was an anonymous woman who called authorities to report the suspect. The affidavit said that Martinez told her that he hit a pole after reportedly admitting to having "four or five beers."

When Martinez signed a consent form to have his vehicle searched, a Ford F-150, police said a plastic piece found at the scene fit perfectly on the driver side mirror. The top piece of the mirror also had blood on it.

The affidavit reads that Martinez told SAPD that he knew he had hit something, but did not stop to confirm what he hit. Surveillance video shows him driving away.

Fabian Rocha said he saw Lopez as a son. He said the teen was set to graduate next month from South San Antonio High School and then serve in the Marines.

“He was a selfless kid,” he said. “We were looking forward to the man he was becoming, especially with joining the Marines.”

SAPD reported that the 18-year-old was killed at I-35 south and Kiowa Street. Police said the teen was riding his bike on the southbound access road when he was hit. Lopez was thrown into a drainage ditch.

“I think someone came over the hill too fast and didn’t have their lights on or was intoxicated,” Rocha said before the arrest was made. “I don’t know why someone would just leave the scene.”

Rocha said he was waiting for him that night he was hit and kept calling Lopez, not realizing what happened. The teen wasn’t found until the next day.

“When the cops were there, we started asking them questions,” Rocha said. “They said in his backpack he had a Whataburger uniform and his name tag which said Jacob.”

Lopez worked at a Whataburger near where he was killed. 

“We just hope they would turn themselves in,” Rocha previously told KENS 5.  “Just forgive and remember him the right light.”

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