A 15-year-old boy is in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles Tuesday night.
Police received a report of a pedestrian being struck on Maple Avenue near East 37th Street just before 9 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department Detective Moses Castillo said.
Arriving officers found the badly injured teen down near the intersection of Woodlawn Avenue and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The victim, later identified as Roberto Diaz, was dragged about 1,500 feet before his body was dislodged from the vehicle, Castillo said.
Diaz had just exited a nearby store after buying a soda and was riding his bike in a crosswalk when he was struck by a driver who apparently ran a stop sign, Castillo said.
Diaz was hospitalized with “very severe” injuries, Castillo said. “We’re praying and hoping for the best, but it looks pretty grave,” he said.
Diaz's mother said at a later news conference that her son was in critical but stable condition.
The vehicle that struck Diaz stopped momentarily when followed by witnesses but eventually fled the scene.
The car was described as a 2007 to 2008 dark blue Honda Accord or Civic with tinted windows.
The vehicle likely has extensive damage to the front end, Castillo said.
No description of the driver was available.
Belen Garcia said her son has been undergoing surgery and she has not been able to see him.
Through her tears, she sent a message to the driver involved.
“My message for the driver is to turn yourself in. … You just left him there to die,” Garcia said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the LAPD.
An LAPD-affiliated nonprofit set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Diaz's recovery.