ANCHORAGE — An 18-year-old is recovering from head injuries after a car hit him and sped away early Saturday in South Anchorage, according to police, who are looking for the driver.
Police say a dark sedan hit Tevin George, knocking him unconscious. George's father said his son was still dazed later Saturday but pulling through.
"He'll open his eyes, but it's kind of like as if you were sleeping and your honey says to you, 'Do you remember sitting up and opening your eyes?" said Michael Oustigoff, George's father.
"To leave somebody there on the ground and not know the outcome or the possibilities -- he was basically left for dead," Oustigoff said. "They should do the right thing and be responsible. If they're parents or kids, just imagine us as a family."
According to police spokeswoman Anita Shell, George and a 17-year-old friend were walking in a lane of traffic on Huffman Road east of the Seward Highway about 4 a.m. when an eastbound car struck George. A sergeant investigating the hit-and-run did not suspect the two had been drinking alcohol, Shell said.
Oustigoff said the friend told him he and George were crossing Huffman and within a foot of the edge of the road. "If he was crossing the street, I don't think he even saw it coming."
The friend, who was uninjured, dragged George out of the road and called 911, Shell said. Officers found George unresponsive, and an ambulance rushed him to a hospital, she said.
It was raining at the time of the collision, Shell said. George and his friend were not in a crosswalk, and the friend said he and George were walking in the road because they did not think there were any cars coming, the police spokeswoman said.
"The reason why (the driver) didn't stop is unknown, but a lot of times it's because they have a warrant for their arrest or they're intoxicated, so they take off," Shell said.
In the least, the case amounts to a charge of failing to render aid, Shell said. If the driver had stopped to help, they might not have faced any citations, assuming they were not wanted by police, impaired by drugs or alcohol or committing some other traffic offense at the time, she said.
George was listed in serious condition as of 3 p.m., according to Providence Alaska Medical Center. That is one step down from critical, the hospital's most serious classification of injury.
Oustigoff said George needed 16 stitches and had a bruised torso. The extent of his son's head injuries was unknown, but George had good motor skills, Oustigoff said.
"He can grip your hand. He can move his feet, wiggle his fingers. Stuff like that," Oustigoff said.
Still, George, who hope to someday be either a pilot or welder, was not able to talk yet, his father said.
"I don't know if he's going to retain memory, if he's going to be able to function correctly. Until I find out he's fully awake and talking, then nobody will know," Oustigoff said. "I don't know why they didn't stop. I just don't know. I hope they're OK, and they should turn themselves in and get this off their chest, if they have a conscience."
Shell, the police spokeswoman, said there have been no arrests in another vehicle-versus-pedestrian case from early June that injured April Merculief and her boyfriend, Nicholas Philemonoff. Detectives have no new information to release publicly and are still looking for a red sport-utility vehicle that hit them
Merculief's mother said she and Philemonoff continue to recover.
Anyone with information in either case is asked to call the police at 786-8900 or Crime Stoppers 561-STOP (7867). Online tips can be submitted at www.anchoragecrimestoppers.com.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.