Driver sought in hit-and-run, road rage incident hurting boy, 4
Man crashed into boy at bus stop, drove away, deputies say
Volusia County deputies are searching for the driver who crashed into a bus stop bench and injured a 4-year-old boy during a road-rage incident.
Deputies said 4-year-old Luis Ortiz is recovering from two broken legs after being tossed in the air after the crash. The impact of this crash was so strong, deputies said it broke the concrete on the bench and tossed pieces 25 feet away. The boy's family said they are amazed it didn't kill him.
The boy's uncle can't understand who would hit a child and take off.
"I'm angry. Why would you do that? I'm pretty sure you saw people sitting there," said Ortiz's uncle, Edwin Pagan. "I'm angry, but I'm also going to just let God deal with you. At the end of the day, karma."
Ortiz, his father, and two siblings were at the bus stop bench when an out-of-control car barreled off the road and slammed into them. The father said he barely had time to react.
"He hurried up and jumped out of the way. He had my other niece and his other son," said Pagan. "I guess he couldn't grab the other one, the little one."
The crash knocked Ortiz through the air and into the bushes. The child is scheduled to have surgery on both his legs Thursday, but his uncle said the boy is recovering well and is in good spirits.
Deputies said it started with road rage when the car made a U-turn in front of a truck. The truck chased the car, the car's driver started throwing things at the truck, and that's when he lost control.
Kim Leddon said she saw it all.
"I just couldn't believe that he left," said Leddon. "Both vehicles left and didn't even check to see if the boy was OK, or if there was anything they could do. They just took off."
The man behind the wheel pulled into a church parking lot before he disappeared.
"I'm not sure why they ran. Responsible adults would have gotten out of the car," said Pagan. "Especially over road rage? Come on. You almost caused a kid his life."
Parents said a lot of children walk along the street in the area to go to school and the crash worries them.
"It has always been a very busy street and people go too fast in a school zone, and I didn't know what it was going to take to slow them down, but the road rage, there is no reason for that," said neighbor Darlene Happ.
The speed limit where the crash occurred is 35 mph.
Deputies need help catching the driver of the hit-and-run. They believe he was in a gold-colored, four-door, Chrysler Sebring, with a round body style. However, after investigating pieces left behind, deputies also said the car could be Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concord, or Chrysler 300M.
Deputies said the vehicle also had significant front-end damage.
They also want to talk to the truck's driver in that apparent road-rage incident. They believe it's a green pickup with a green truck topper, several veterans' stickers, and a memorial sticker for "Cody Kufner 1988-2008."
Contact Volusia County Sheriff's Office if you have any other information.