An 8-year-old boy who slipped away from a family birthday party was killed as he rode a child’s scooter on a Carver County highway at night and was struck by an SUV.

Lorenzo Cotto of Brooklyn Park was struck shortly after 8:20 p.m. Friday along Hwy. 33 in New Germany, said Carver County chief sheriff’s deputy Jason Kamerud. The boy was taken to a hospital in Waconia and died there.

The driver, a 62-year-old man from Waverly, Minn., stopped immediately and cooperated with authorities, Kamerud said. No citations have been issued, and there was no evidence that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Kamerud said.

Lorenzo was visiting relatives for the birthday party at their home along the two-lane highway just south of downtown, the chief deputy said.

“There were other kids in the area” but no witnesses to the crash, which occurred no more than one address north of the gathering, Kamerud said.

“It’s getting dark right there,” Kamerud said. “It’s a horrible deal. They had family in from Chicago to celebrate a birthday.”

The SUV was heading north at the time, but authorities have yet to determine which of the two lanes Lorenzo was in when he was hit.

Paul Walsh