The mother of a 2-year-old boy struck in a recent hit-and-run accident tearfully pleaded Wednesday for the driver to come forward.
“I know the person who hit my son had to have felt the crash,” Teresa Martinez said Wednesday through an interpreter.
“If I can’t sleep, how can he sleep?”
Authorities are searching for the driver involved in the Monday incident in Kansas City, Kan., that left 2-year-old Eduardo Lopez Martinez in critical condition.
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An older, white, four-door Chrysler sped off after striking the boy about 4:35 p.m. in the 1100 block of North 32nd Street, police said.
Sarah Hoehn, director of the University of Kansas Hospital pediatric intensive care unit, said Eduardo suffered blunt trauma to the lungs and was breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. The child also suffered rib fractures, but there is no apparent brain damage and Hoehn said she expects him to survive.
Martinez, speaking through hospital interpreter Cecilia Abbey, explained how she and a friend had returned from shopping Monday afternoon.
“The mistake I made was getting my son out of the car first,” Martinez said, often sobbing.
Then, she said, she heard the crash and saw a white Chrysler but didn’t notice many other details.
“All I could see was my son,” she said.
Martinez said she picked up her son and ran four blocks to a nearby fire station but received a ride to the hospital from a friend.
Investigators had little information, said Sgt. Emmett Lockridge of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department.
“We don’t have tire marks or skid marks,” Lockridge said. “We are pleading with the community at this time.”
He added that his department would not be concerned with the immigration status of anyone offering information.
Martinez described her son as a “handful” who loved to run.
“I want him to be able to run out of here,” she said, adding that she hoped he could join her in celebrating the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12.
Asked if she needed anything for Thanksgiving, she declined, saying, “Material things don’t matter.”
Police encourage anyone with information about the incident to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).