A 14-year-old boy was hit and critically hurt while crossing a busy intersection on his bike. It happened just before 10 o'clock Thursday night, at Ulmerton Road and Seminole Boulevard in Largo.
The boy was hit by a pick-up truck. Largo police hope more eyewitnesses come forward with anything new they can add, in terms of a description of the pick-up or its driver. He hit the boy so hard, police said, it knocked him out of his shoes, and then the suspect sped away.
"It's impossible to get across, because no one stops for you at all, no one, even if it's a red light," said Michael Rose. He remarked how the intersection at Ulmerton Road and Seminole Boulevard is dangerous for anyone on bikes.
"It is like a nightmare to get across the street," said Rose. "Even if you push the button and it says walk, the cars will come around the corner, you barely make it across before you get cut off or get hit."
"Basically had a vehicle that was traveling westbound on Ulmerton Road, it was a large pick-up truck," said Sergeant George Edmiston with the Largo Police Department. He described the truck that struck the boy.
"It was full-size, possibly lifted, oversize tires, with a roll bar, yellow lights on the top of the roll bar and a loud exhaust, either an after-market exhaust, dual exhaust or no muffler at all," said Edmiston.
And eyewitnesses believe a middle-aged man was at the wheel. The intersection was dark, so they're not exactly sure what color the truck was.
"The bicyclist had the duty to stop and yield to traffic on that roadway," said Edmiston. "The problem is, the vehicle fled without leaving his information and left a child critically injured in the roadway."
Police said the boy was on his way with a friend to a McDonald's, only a block away from where he was hit.
"He was struck by the pick-up truck," said Edmiston. "Which had the green light to go through the intersection. The bicycle wasn't equipped with brakes, he didn't have a helmet on, he didn't have lights on his bicycle, and there were no reflectors on the bicycle and he was wearing dark clothing."
And, the boy was crossing against the don't-walk signal.
"I almost get hit once a day," said Heather Soo. "It's bad!
Soo rides her bike to and from work every day, but says no way would she ever at night.
"Why not?," we asked. "Because!," she said. "Cars here are crazy!"
Her husband worries too. If he's off work on time, he picks her up on the way, so she makes it home in one piece.
"People just slow down, take that two minutes to just wait for people to cross the street, people won't get hurt," said Soo.
Part of the investigation involves security video police are securing right now, from a bank right at that intersection.
The family has asked that the boy's name not be released, but we're told he's in critical condition at All Children's Hospital.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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