BRUSLY, LA (WAFB) - Investigators said they now have video of the vehicle suspected of hitting a 7-year-old while he was riding a bicycle and driving off on Friday.
"We are looking for a white Suburban," Tpr. Jared Sandifer with Louisiana State Police said. "The vehicle will have damage to one of its mirrors."
The incident happened on River Road in Brusly shortly before 2 p.m. Witnesses pulled the child, Charles Ishman, from the ditch where he landed after being clipped by the passing vehicle. The driver did not stop to help the child, so troopers are asking for the public's help to identify the driver responsible.
They were able to obtain surveillance video from Robert Critney, who lives near the location of the crash. The video shows the young boy riding his bike northbound down River Road. Then moments later, a white mid-1990s Chevrolet Suburban passes by slowly in the opposite direction.
Critney said there are children who ride their bikes along that stretch of River Road and it is very concerning. He added that means drivers need to be extra cautious.
"Be very vigilant and observant at what goes on, especially during the summer time when kids are roaming the streets," Critney said. "For a child, they don't pay attention. They don't see the kids until it's too late."
Critney also said he hopes there will one day be sidewalks and streetlights around the area, which is known as Lukeville, located just outside Brusly limits.
Troopers believe the white Chevy is the vehicle that hit the child.
"They called me and told me what happened and I was close enough that I literally ran to him," explained Derrick Johnson, the child's uncle. "When I got there, he was crying and saying, 'I don't want to die. I don't want to die.' To hear a 7-year-old say that is something that really hit me."
Thankfully, Ishman walked away without any broken bones. He is recovering from what is described as minor injuries, but include serious bruising and swelling to his face, as well as a sprained shoulder. Troopers said he was not wearing a safety helmet at the time of the crash.
"The people who found him said he was in a ditch. There was water in it and he was gasping for air when they found him," Johnson added.
The witnesses were able to catch a glimpse of the driver, but could not provide a detailed description.
"I feel like whoever did it should be man enough or woman enough to admit to it, even if it was an accident," said Menisha Johnson, the child's mother. "You just hit him and kept going. You should have stopped to see if he was okay. You don't just hit someone and keep going."
Officials added information from the public is critical in cases like this. If you know anything about this incident or the possible identity of the driver, call Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.