Austin police said Tuesday they are looking for a driver who did not stop after hitting a 10-year-old boy Friday afternoon on his walk home from his Northwest Austin elementary school.
Caden Walsh was walking down Hymeadow Drive, just south of Lake Creek Parkway, when the driver of an SUV veered onto the sidewalk, said Walsh’s mother, Heather Brady. Walsh jumped out of the way, but not before the vehicle caught him on the leg.
“Then they took off. … They didn’t know if he was dead or alive, and they just left him there,” Brady said.
Walsh, whose leg was bleeding badly, crawled and hobbled away until a good Samaritan noticed him and helped him walk home, Brady said. Walsh’s father took him to the hospital, where he had to get 10 stitches in his leg.
“There was a big chunk taken out of his leg,” Brady said. “He was bleeding profusely.”
Walsh, a Forest North Elementary School fifth-grader, was hit sometime between 3 and 3:30 p.m., and he thinks the vehicle was either red or dark-colored. There are no security cameras in the area, Brady said.
Walsh and his parents spoke to Austin police, and investigators have opened a case, she said.
“He’s on crutches now, but he’s in good spirits,” Brady said of her son. “He’s a trooper.”
Anyone who knows who hit Walsh is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if the anonymous tip is the first to lead to the driver’s arrest. Contact Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477 or through the “P3 Tips” phone app.
In the chaos of the situation, the family never got the name of the woman who helped Walsh home, Brady said, adding she hopes the woman contacts her to thank her. Police said they would also like to talk to the woman to see whether she can provide more information about the incident.
Austin police officials said officers will be patrolling that area more frequently following the incident.
“We’ll have officers in that area making sure travelers or vehicular traffic is complying with traffic safety laws,” Austin police Officer Destiny Winston said.
So far this year, people in Austin have reported someone failing to stop and render aid after a crash 49 times and 1,025 incidents in which someone left after a crash, Winston said.
“If you’re involved in a traffic crash, it is your duty and you are required to provide information and render aid if necessary,” Winston said. “So that means stop — or stop somewhere when it’s safe — immediately and make sure that the person you were involved in the crash with was not hurt or injured. Then, you need to go ahead and exchange information.”