6-year-old boy, standout little league player killed in suspected DUI in Richmond

Family and friends were mourning the loss of 6-year-old Amadeo Alvarez Jr. who was killed in Richmond, Calif. on Wed., April 17, 2024 by a suspected DUI driver.  (Alvarez Family / Caliber: Beta Academy)

A devastated community in the East Bay was mourning the loss of a 6-year-old boy, who was killed by a suspected intoxicated driver in an alleged hit-and-run. 

The deadly collision happened in Richmond on Wednesday night near the intersection of Carlson and Cutting boulevards, investigators said. The suspect reportedly tried to leave that crash scene but was stopped by bystanders.  

"There were 5 people injured, including one 6-year-old boy who succumbed to his injuries," police told KTVU, adding, "The suspect was taken into custody at the scene."

On Monday, 29-year-old Ramiro Rojas-Barrios of Richmond, was charged with felony counts of manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drug while causing injury.

SEE ALSO: This California county is named the deadliest in DUI crashes of all in the U.S.

The crash took the life of Amadeo Alvarez Jr. The child's two sisters and father were injured. 

Amadeo Jr. was being remembered as a joyful, bright and talented boy who was athletic and earned the nickname "Big Bat" for his skills as a baseball player.

("Courtesy GoFundMe - Support for Amadeo's Family in Tragic Times")

His loss reverberated through the community. The Richmond Little League, which he was a part of, expressed its heartbreak, calling Amadeo Jr. one of the league’s "most beloved players."

The league posted photos of his heavy-hearted teammates and paid tribute to Amadeo Jr.'s #26 jersey. 

At Caliber: Beta Academy in San Pablo, where the beloved little leaguer was a student, there was shock and sadness as the school community tried to grapple with the loss. 

The school’s ​assistant principal, Jasmine Douville, told KTVU community circles were being held for students, families and teachers, and clinicians had been brought in for support. 

Douville set up a GoFundMe to help the child's family during this "heartbreaking tragedy" as they faced funeral costs and medical expenses.

The GoFundMe remembered Amadeo Jr. as a child who "touched every life he came in contact with, with a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that was infectious."

Douville also wrote of how the child loved sports and demonstrated his exceptional skills in baseball at a very young age. 

"They gave him the nickname ‘Big Bat’ because he was excellent at knocking the ball out of the park! At five years old he joined the Richmond Little League and was so good they placed him on the 7 year olds team," the assistant principal shared.

She also described how the child’s favorite things in life were to practice sports with his father and spend time with his teammates. 

"His absence has left a void in the hearts of his family and friends that can never be filled," Douville said.

She asked the community to rally around the family during this difficult time.

"No parent should ever have to endure the pain of burying their child,"  Douville said, "and no family should face this alone." 

You can find the GoFundMe for Amadeo Alvarez Jr. here.