MYAKKA CITY (FOX 13) - The father of a 13-year-old boy who was hit by a car Wednesday night has a message for the driver who sped off.
"Come forward and take care of this. You don't hit a child and walk away," Shawn Nerf told FOX 13 News Thursday, as his son recovered in a Bay Area hospital.
His son, 13-year-old Nathen Nerf was riding his bike on Clay Gully Road in Myakka City when he was hit.
"He was grazed by the car, knocked clear off his bike and spun about two or three time,s and landed on his back. At that point, he rolled over and he was stuck there," Nerf explained.
Darya Cole said she has watched Nathen ride his bicycle down the same stretch of country road many times.
"This is very upsetting to all of us. I would go on the road sometimes, with my horse, and we do have trucks flying," she said.
Wednesday night, she watched as Nathen was carried away by a Bayflight helicopter to Tampa General Hospital.
"It happened right before the curve to the left. A lot of people don't slow down there, and it is very dangerous," Cole said.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said they were looking for a newer-model, four-door, black Cadillac with possible right-side damage.
When the driver took off, Nathen was left on the side of the road. No one is sure how long he was there before a neighbor spotted him and stopped to help.
Nathen's family said it could have been an hour or even longer.
Nathen was on his way to Joe Tiani's house with a birthday present for Tiani's daughter when he was struck.
"It was daylight. It wasn't like it was nighttime. It happened while it was still light out, and it's upsetting. It could have been anybody. The biggest question is, why wouldn't you stop?" asked Tiani. "He is a good kid. He's a bright kid. He comes over here and rides our horses. He has a great time with our kids. He plays with our dogs. He is a pleasure to have here and we enjoy having him."
Tiani, like many others, can't understand why the driver didn't stop.
"A human life should be important enough to stop and say, 'oh my gosh. Let me help you. I am going to stop and help you. Let me at least call 911.' You aren't in trouble. It's an accident," he said.
The driver of the car now faces a felony charge for leaving the scene of an accident with injury. Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call the Florida Highway Patrol at (239) 938-1800.