911 calls detail frantic moments following hit-and-run crash that killed 7-year-old boy

‘I don’t know how to drive but one of my friends was just hit outside my house,’ caller says

Troopers say a teenage driver fatally struck a 7-year-old boy in Marion County.
Troopers say a teenage driver fatally struck a 7-year-old boy in Marion County. (News 6)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Newly released calls to 911 shed light on the frantic moments that followed a hit-and-crash that killed a 7-year-old boy in Marion County.

The crash, which took place around 5:50 p.m. last week on Southwest 155 Street, was reported by multiple people, including one woman who told 911 dispatchers that the boy and her son had just left her house when the crash took place.

“He was going home from my house. Oh, my God. My son was with him and a car hit him. I heard the noise," the woman said.

The woman, who was crying hysterically and breathing so heavily that it was difficult to understand her, said the driver who hit the boy sped off, leaving tire marks in his tracks.

Investigators later identified the victim as 7-year-old Bryce Benson.

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“Somebody hit him," she said. "Somebody hit him and ran.”

In another call to 911, a child can be heard sobbing as they explained to dispatchers what happened.

“I don’t know how to drive but one of my friends was just hit outside my house," the child said.

The child told dispatchers Benson was riding his bike home when the crash took place.

“My brother and my friend were going down to his house to drop him off and drop off his bike and then out of nowhere, we heard a giant bang inside our house," the child said. "We come rushing out, our friend is on the ground and we don’t know what to do.”

Troopers said a 17-year-old boy was driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser on Southwest 155 Street around 5:50 p.m. Friday when he hit Benson. The vehicle that troopers said the suspect was driving when he hit Benson does not match the description the woman gave dispatchers during her call to 911.

The woman told dispatchers during the call that she was told Benson was hit by someone in a green Honda Accord.

The dispatcher asked the woman if anyone was able to get the driver’s tag number, to which she replied no one did.

“No, but we know who he is," the woman said. "He’s a local meth head in the neighborhood.”

During the call, Benson’s father arrives and asks what happened to his baby.

The woman tells Benson’s father someone hit him and took off. She said her husband went after the fleeing driver.

Moments later, the woman said her husband spotted the green Honda and that the driver had already parked it and taken the tag off of it. A green Honda was never mentioned in the Florida Highway Patrol’s crash report.

The report didn’t provide any other specific details on the cause of the crash but did note that the area was unlit.

Benson died at Ocala Regional Medical Center, records show.

The teen driver is facing charges of leaving the scene of a crash without rendering aid and driving an unregistered motor vehicle.

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