Altamonte teen hit-and-run victim speaks to WFTV from ICU



ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - Police continue to search for a driver who struck a 17-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle in Altamonte Springs last week.

Now, Neftaly Rodriguez and his family are asking for the driver to turn himself in to authorities.

Rodriguez is still in intensive care at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital after being struck at the intersection of Wymore Road and SR-436 in about 6:15 p.m. Monday.

Witnesses said the driver had a green light, so if he would have stayed, he may not have had charges filed, but he instead stopped, looked back at the teen and then drove away from the scene.

Rodriguez' family said he was riding his bike home from a job interview when he was struck.

"Him being my first born ... I was the first one to hold him when he was born," said Rodriguez' father, Jose Rodriguez.

The family is upset and looking for answers as to why the driver took off.

"Geez Louise, how can you do that?" said Jose Rodriguez. "At least make sure the kid is doing fine. At least call 911."

Neftaly Rodriguez told Channel 9 he blacked out after he got struck. He said he doesn't even remember what the car looked like.

"It just felt like a dream, and I woke up in the ambulance," he said.

Neftaly suffered a cracked skull and sternum, and scrapes and bruises.

"I don't know who the person could've been or the kind of situation they were in that they hit me and they left," he said.

"I'm just glad that he's OK. That's all that matters," said Jose Rodriguez. "Everything else, it doesn't really matter."

Altamonte Springs police said they're looking for a man who was driving a red sports car. The car would have front-end damage and a cracked windshield, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.