ST. LOUIS — St. Louis police have found a truck they believe struck and killed a teenage boy near Ted Drewes Frozen Custard last week.
Friday morning, St. Louis police announced the vehicle had been found in St. Louis County but did not provide an exact location.
Police sources tell 5 On Your Side the truck was brought to a mechanic for repairs on its front-end damage. From there, someone recognized the vehicle and called police.
The driver of the vehicle has not been found and no arrests have been made, police said.
On Wednesday, police said the vehicle involved was believed to be a dark grey, 2004 to 2008 Ford F150 with an extended cabin. The truck also had damage to the driver's side door and a broken headlight, also on the driver's side.
Police also said the driver of the vehicle was believed to be a man who was seen wearing a light-colored neon shirt.
The investigation started Friday night when 17-year-old Matthew Nikolai was struck by a truck and killed on Chippewa Street. According to St. Louis police, Nikolai was struck at about 8:15 p.m. An early investigation by police said a pickup truck was traveling westbound on Chippewa Street.
Nikolai was walking from the Enterprise Bank & Trust parking lot towards Ted Drewes. The pickup truck struck Nikolai, causing him to fall into the eastbound lane where a Ford Fusion also struck him.
The pickup truck fled the scene continuing westbound on Chippewa, and the Fusion pulled over and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Nikolai was not conscious or breathing when he was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Nikolai was the second pedestrian struck and killed on the stretch of road near the St. Louis mainstay. In May, a 77-year-old man was also struck and killed while crossing the street in the same area.
In data compiled by the nonprofit group Trailnet, four of the five pedestrian-involved crashes in the area of the Chippewa and Jameison intersection since 2017 were in front of Ted Drewes.
This road is operated by MoDOT, but a MoDOT spokesperson said its responsibilities for the road are limited to maintaining the driving surface. The spokesperson said traffic-calming measures are the responsibility of the City of St. Louis.
Advocates, like Michael Carmody with the regional group Safer Streets for Kirkwood and St. Louis County, say the area could be made safer with common traffic measures.
"There are solutions to this. About 50% of the crashes across from Ted Drewes could be reduced by putting in a well-lit, rapid flashing beacon continental marked crosswalk," Carmody said.
On Monday, 5 On Your Side reached out to Alderman Tom Oldenburg, who represents the area but never heard back.
Reporter Mercedes McKay learned from a business owner that Oldenburg met on Monday with various department heads of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and spoke to Ted Drewes twice over the weekend to be involved in short and long-term solutions.