Mom believes Detroit police were not trying to find hit-and-run driver because son was on minibike

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 18:42:43-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Karen Russell believes investigators with Detroit police were not trying to find the hit-and-run driver who injured her son because the teen was riding a minibike when it happened.

Minibikes and ATVs are illegal on the streets of Detroit.

Karen said she told investigators that she and her 17-year-old son understand that he should not have been riding his minibike, but that "fleeing the scene of an accident is quite illegal as well."

"Don't let it be a fatality before you do something," said Karen who fears the hit-and-run driver may take a life next time if they're not held responsible for leaving the scene on July 22.

Pietra Mannino and her fiancé witnessed the crash on Vernor Highway and saw the silver Chrysler 300 speed away on Green Street.

Pietra told 7 Action News that they stopped to help the teen after the crash sent his body into the air. He landed on the top of their vehicle before falling to the ground where he laid unconscious and began having seizures.

"It just makes me sad that they didn't even care," said Karen's son who did not want his face shown or his name used. "I would have at least got out to see if I was alive."

The teen's injuries include a broken leg. He underwent emergency surgery to put a rod in his left leg. He now uses a walker and said doctors told him he may be able to walk normally in about a year.

Action News contacted Detroit Police on Wednesday when Karen said she and her family had still not talked to anyone investigating the case.

On Thursday, eleven days after the crash, Karen said she finally received a phone call from an investigator who said they have identified the vehicle.

Detroit Police said they are now trying to find out who was behind the wheel at the time of the hit-and-run.

"I understand the fear," said Karen about the hit-and-run driver. "But I can't wrap my head around how someone could be so heartless."

Anyone with information on the suspected hit-and-run driver can call DPD's 4th Precinct.