A search is ongoing Friday morning for the driver involved in a hit-and-run crash that left a teenager with serious injuries Wednesday evening in Acton, Massachusetts, and a business owner is offering a reward for information in the case.
The 13-year-old who was hit, identified by his mother as Cesar Soto Jr., is now in a coma in a Boston hospital as police ask for help in their search.
Cesar was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash, which happened on Great Road near Harris Street, according to authorities. Officers responded to the situation around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.
The teen was taken by ambulance to a field on Weatherbee Street so he could be taken to a Boston hospital via medical helicopter.
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Crisolys Tejeda, the boy's mother, told NBC10 Boston by telephone that she's praying her son will fully recover.
"They just take him out from surgery, they have his right leg done. It was broken, his brain is swelling," she said. "It's going to be slow, but we need to wait until he wakes up because he doesn't respond yet for anything."
The Acton-Boxborough Regional School District confirmed Thursday that the teen is a seventh-grade student at the RJ Grey Junior High School. Counselors and extra support have been made available for students.
Jeff Bursaw, who owns Bursaw Gas and Oil where the victim's older brother works, is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who gives information that leads investigators to identify the driver.
"The driver hasn’t been identified yet so I want to try to rustle the leaves up a little bit," Bursaw said. "Somebody out there has to know something and hopefully this will help prompt them to come forward."
What we know about the crash
Cesar was just walking home from a convenience store with friends when he was hit in the crosswalk.
"If something happened, just face it, like an adult," his mother said. "Whoever is the person, I just ask him, please, face me. Go to the police. Talk about that. Let's try to do it the right way."
The other kids who were with Cesar said they didn't see the car because it got so close to them. They said the person who was driving it looked like an older man.
Several people sprung into action to help the hurt teenager in the wake of the crash.
"I just pulled over, parked and grabbed a blanket, came out and saw a young person laying and surrounded by a few other good Samaritans," Erica Labb said, explaining that others were already helping and "telling the child 'Help is on the way. Don’t move, don’t move.' The child seemed to be moving."
Initially, police said they were looking for a black sedan that might be a Nissan. They later said they were looking for both a silver sedan and a dark-colored SUV seen in surveillance footage:
Anyone with information or who knows where the cars might be is asked to call 978-264-9638.