Police searching for SUV, driver who struck 11-year-old before driving off in New Jersey

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Friday, October 20, 2023
Video shows 11-year-old struck in hit-and-run on walk to school
Anthony Johnson reports after a driver of an SUV struck an 11-year-old boy in a crosswalk before driving off in North Bergen, New Jersey on Tuesday.

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (WABC) -- An 11-year-old boy and his father are speaking out after a driver of an SUV struck the child at a crosswalk before driving off in North Bergen, New Jersey on Tuesday.

The boy was crossing Hudson Avenue at 76th Street on his way to school just after 8:15 a.m. when the driver ran a stop sign and hit him.

"The fact that the car never stopped at all really angered me, and at this point I really want to find out who the driver is," the 11-year-old's father Kevin Bencosme said.

Video of the crash shows the boy being thrown to the ground, but he quickly gets back up and retrieves his phone that was knocked out of his hand.

He then lumbers to the corner and leans over, obviously in pain from the impact of the collision.

The driver of the Ford Explorer with New Jersey license plates kept on driving north on Hudson Avenue.

A woman who was pushing a stroller witnessed the crash and comforted the victim.

Police are searching for her as well.

The boy's parents said he was in shock after the crash, but was physically okay and he returned to class on Thursday.

"Physically he is doing better. Mentally is what we're scared about," Bencosme said. "He told us, he didn't feel comfortable walking alone. He was scared."

Eleven-year-old Carlos, who only speaks Spanish, says he feels bad and upset and he hopes the driver will be held responsible. His father is calling on the driver to turn themselves into police.

"The moment you hit someone, it's a child too, a minor, do something and actually get out and make they are okay," Bencosme said.

Now Carlos is worried about walking to school.

"I had to tell him, unfortunately look, 'we can't walk this route anymore because it's unsafe,' we can't have this happen to him again," Bencosme said.

A resident whose camera caught the accident says this is a bad corner and many motorists roll through without making a full stop.

"It's disturbing, just to say the least," resident Alexander Cuervo said. "An adult hit somebody and didn't even slow down."

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