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12-year-old in a coma after Texas hit-and-run accident

A 12-year-old boy is in a coma as the result of catastrophic injuries he received while riding a go-kart alongside a park near his Richardson, Texas, home. The 62-year-old woman blamed for the hit-and-run accident told police she does not remember what happened.

The boy’s family believes the charges against the Richardson woman should be tougher. The driver, charged with a third-degree felony of failure to stop to help the victim, faces a $10,000 fine and a 10-year prison term.

The injury victim’s family wants a harsher second-degree aggravated assault felony charge that could extend the jail term to 20 years.

The lawyer for the accused does not deny his client caused the accident, but says a medical reason may have caused the go-kart crash. The alleged hit-and-run driver is under a neurologist’s care for what could possibly be a seizure disorder.

The family of the accused had noticed the woman “blanking out” on several occasions in the last few months. The neurologist has ordered the woman not to drive until her condition is explained.

Richardson police say they will not file alternate charges, at least while the accident investigation remains underway.

Witnesses say the boy was riding his go-kart on a sidewalk next to Heights Park when the woman’s black SUV jumped two curbs and struck him. Eyewitnesses say the driver then performed a U-turn and left the scene.

Police found an SUV matching witness descriptions in a neighborhood not far from the park. The owner told police she could not recall an accident, but did contact an attorney. Several days later, she turned herself in, was charged and released on $5,000 bond.

The young boy who was hit remains in the hospital in serious condition. A fund at Texas Credit Union has been established by his friends and family members to help pay for his treatment.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, “Family of Richardson boy hurt in hit-and-run wants tougher charges against suspect,” Ian McCann, July 22, 2011

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