"I remember everything. From when I got hit. When I was stuck under there. I was just being dragged. I felt like all my air was being lost."
My friend Damian knows all too well how Roberto Diaz feels. He lived through it just 6 years ago. It breaks my heart and angers me that we should be seeing such a similar story occur again this month.
15 year old Roberto Diaz was biking home after stopping at the market on the night of August 6th when he was hit by a driver who blew right through a stop sign. As if that wasn't enough, the driver did not stop and dragged Roberto 1,500 feet from the corner of Maple and 37th all the way down to Woodlawn and Martin Luthur King, Jr. Bl.
Surprisingly and miraculously, he lived. Roberto has had a half dozen surgeries to date and recently spoke to Channel 2 news: https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/08/18/only-on-2-ive-been-trying-to-forget-the-pain-teen-dragged-by-hit-and-run-driver-speaks-out/. What is even more amazing is he forgives the person who committed this crime and only asks that they come forward and turn themselves in. "I just want to know why you did what you did. You saw me. You hit me. You knew I was under there."
Police are looking for the driver of a 2007 or 2008 dark-blue Honda Accord or Civic with tinted windows and extensive front end damage. Please report any information anonymously to 1-800-222-8477.
Following the crime, Roberto's family reached out to SAFE Support and we have been providing in-hospital help and guidance to both Roberto and his family. While I can't speak of details due to privacy, I will say that the family is not only focused on Roberto's recovery but also want justice and to find the person who did this to him.
So, SAFE Support decided to help them do just that. In addition to the almost daily assistance to the family, SAFE is planning an awareness event to help catch this criminal and bring awareness to the importance of street safety. Join us and spread the word!
What: March for Safer Streets in Honor of Roberto Diaz
When: Sunday, August 25th at 4:30pm
Where: Meet at the site at the corner of 37th and Maple Avenue. The march will span the 1,500 feet to Woodlawn and MLK where Roberto was found.
There will be a press conference calling attention to what happened to Roberto with a plea to find the driver and allowing his family to speak to the public.
PLEASE share and join us on Sunday to help bring justice to this family. Show the community that we need safer streets for the sake of our children and all vulnerable road users.