Child struck, dragged by van

Fidel Alvarado said he could hear one of his sons yelling from his house and his wife screaming Monday night after a van veered into the grass in the 100 block of Kennedy Drive in Medway, striking the boy who was playing outside with some other children.

“My boy was in the grass. He wasn’t in the road,” Alvarado said. “He hit him (in the head) with the bumper and then ran off but I don’t know where.”

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the suspected driver allegedly dragged the boy and his bike as much as 75 feet before stopping. The man spoke to a female witness before reportedly fleeing the scene, troopers said.

That witness gave troopers the van’s license plate number. Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies located the van and the suspected driver at his home, where he was questioned, said Lt. Matt Cleaveland, commander of the patrol’s Springfield Post.

The boy was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dayton. He suffered a head injury but was released early Tuesday morning. Alvarado said he’ll keep his son home for a few days for observation. He said he was thankful the bike took the brunt of the crash and that no other children were hurt.

“I’m just happy because he’s not too bad, but when I was with him in the hospital, I was worried what was going to happen and if he was going to be all right,” he said. “I was scared.”

Troopers are investigating whether the suspect was under the influence at the time of the crash. Cleaveland said investigators believe they have identified a location where he might have been drinking earlier that day, but aren’t releasing that information because charges are pending.

It’s likely the driver will be charged with failure to stop after a crash and driving under the influence. Given the child’s injuries, Cleaveland said he could also face felonious assault charges.

Once the investigation concludes, troopers will present the case to a Clark County prosecutor to pursue charges, he said.

Witnesses, Cleaveland said, were key to finding the driver.

“If you’re going to leave the scene of a crash, people are watching and a couple of really good Samaritans in this case were able to help us hopefully close out this investigation,” he said.

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