Dawayne Grant was headed for school and his two major passions — science and basketball — when he was hit by a pickup truck early Wednesday morning while crossing South Arlington Street in Akron.
The truck sped off, leaving the 11-year-old boy with a leg broken in two places, the other leg swollen, his neck in a brace, cuts and bruises to his arms, face and body and a specialist called to check on his spine.
“Whoever hit my grandson this morning, I hope that God can fix your heart to turn yourself in,” Cheryl Irvine said. “You didn’t stop, and I don’t understand why.”
Police said Grant was hit shortly after 7 a.m. while attempting to cross South Arlington between Baird Street and Seventh Avenue.
Investigators said it appears Grant, a Hyre middle school student, was headed to a Metro RTA bus stop.
His other grandmother, Cherise Williams, accompanied Grant to Akron Children’s Hospital, where he is listed in serious condition.
Grant’s mother was out of town at the time of the incident. His father died in 2012.
Irvine said her grandson was leaving his other grandmother’s home on Arlington less than a block from the bus stop. She praised a high school girl who heard the impact.
“She heard him yell for help, and she turned around [and saw] a red truck and he was laying on the ground and she called 911,” Irvine said.
She said Grant’s bookbag is still missing. One of his shoes was found several feet away.
Grant is impressing relatives with the way he is coping.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” Irvine said. “He’s doing great considering what he’s been through. He’s not complaining. He just wants to eat, so that’s a good sign.”
The police report doesn’t indicate exactly where the 11-year-old crossed, Lt. Rick Edwards said, only that it was not at an intersection.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Edwards said of the fact that the boy was out of the crosswalk. “It doesn’t mean you can hit somebody and take off.”
The boy became another statistic in a city where a student is hit once every 10 school days.
According to crash and police reports the Beacon Journal has compiled, 75 students were struck by a vehicle in Summit County on their way to school between 2010 and 2012.
Usually, it’s not the student’s fault.
Of the 53 students hit in Akron, pedestrians were cited only seven times. Often because a minor is involved, no blame can be ascertained from the police reports in 21 instances.
In 25 cases, the driver was at fault, including nine hit-skips.
These cases account only for students walking to school. Many more are struck after hours or in the summer months.
The most severe cases are recorded by Akron Children’s Hospital, which reports that 80 percent of the Summit County children hit by vehicles and admitted to the hospital in the past three years were inside the city limits when the accident happened.
Anyone with information about Wednesday’s incident is asked to contact Akron police at 330-375-2490.
Information may also be provided anonymously by calling Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS(2677) or by texting TIPSCO plus the tip to 274637. Tipsters may qualify for a cash reward.
Dave Scott and Doug Livingston - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
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