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Merced man in hospital after hit-and-run crash

September 14, 2012 12:58:25 AM PDT
A Merced man is in the hospital after a hit-and-run crash and now his family is making a plea to the driver.

Police say Ignacio Gonzales suffered a serious head injury when a car knocked him off his bicycle.

Family members say they're not concerned about anyone facing criminal charges in this case, but they want the driver to realize the pain the accident has caused Gonzales and all of his loved ones.

WARNING: Parts of this story and video may be disturbing to some.

Family members are struggling to understand how a driver could crash into Gonzales and leave him lying in the street.

"I couldn't do that. I couldn't even hit a dog and drive away," victim's sister Belia Solano said.

"That's very difficult for us to think about and live with because he's somebody's son, he's somebody's brother, somebody's uncle, somebody's father, and we wouldn't want that to happen to anybody," victim's niece Ana Luzania said.

The crash happened as Gonzales was riding his bicycle on Martin Luther King Junior Way just before 5 p.m. on September 3. Merced police say he was turning onto 13th street when a silver car ran into his back tire. The bike was barely damaged, but Gonzales flew forward and slammed his head on the ground. A helicopter rushed him to doctor's medical center in Modesto, where he's now listed in fair condition, but family members say he's unresponsive.

"If he does come out of this and does become responsive to the doctors, he's going to have to learn how to do everything again," Luzania said.

Luzania says before the crash Gonzales worked as a landscaper and was the sole provider for his wife and two youngest sons, who are now teenagers. She says the family now wants the driver to come forward and visit Gonzales in the hospital.

"We just want them to see he's a human being, and he's loved, and he's a person," Luzania said.

A person who may now face a long road to recovery.

Merced police say Gonzales told them at the scene the driver who hit him may be a woman, and the car is described as a silver sedan.


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