LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A teenager was fighting for his life Saturday after police say he was run over by a hit-and-run driver in Union County, New Jersey.
It happened on Linden’s East St. Georges Avenue, which was shuttered for over five hours as police scoured over the accident-turned-crime scene.
Investigators say the unidentified 17-year-old had a skateboard and was dressed in all black as he crossed the busy roadway around 8:30 p.m. Friday. That’s when he was struck by a driver in a white sedan travelling east.
Witnesses looked on in horror as the driver kept going.
“The skateboard ended up at the corner, his shoe was over here, and his phone was right over here,” witness and Linden resident Reggie Sumner said.
Sumner and others were praising an unidentified man who was passing by the scene and dragged the injured teen to the sidewalk to prevent him getting hit in the heavy Friday night traffic.
“If he didn’t pull the young man over here the corner he probably would’ve gotten run over,” Sumner said.
Police eventually located an abandoned white Nissan Altima with heavily tinted windows and damage to its front end nearby, but the driver was nowhere to be found. Early efforts to find surveillance video of the crime were complicated by the fact so many area businesses with cameras are closed and not expected to open again until after Labor Day.
Residents say the section of Saint Georges Avenue where the teen was hit is in desperate need of safety improvements. When witnesses saw the boy getting loaded in the ambulance he did not appear conscious, and they saw very severe bruising all over his body.
He’s described as fighting for his life at Newark University Hospital as police ramp up the hunt for the driver who put him there.