Authorities looking for driver who hit teen on bike in Manatee County, sped off

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A driver hit a 13-year-old boy on a bike Wednesday night in Manatee County and then took off. Neighbors said around 7:30 p.m. 13-year-old Nathen Nerf was riding his bike to a friend’s house on Clay Gully Road.

A newer model black Cadillac hit him and took off, the neighbors said.

Investigators are trying to find the hit-and-run driver. The victim’s father, Shawn Nerf, said the driver should be aware of the terrible crime he or she committed.

“You hit a child, you’re gonna know it; especially when you knock them off their bike. It takes a heck of an impact to knock a child off a bike,” Shawn Nerf said. “Step up and do the right thing. Come forward and take care of this. You don’t hit a child and then just walk away.”

Nathen is in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital.

“He was grazed by the car, knocked clear off his bike and he spun, he said about 2 or 3 times in the air and landed on his back. At that point he rolled over and he stayed in that position; he was stuck there. He couldn’t move after that,” Shawn Nerf said.

A neighbor spotted Nathen on the side of the road.

He had been trying to visit Joe Tiani’s son.

“It’s upsetting because it could’ve been anybody. A human life should be as important enough to stop and say, ‘Oh my gosh, let me help you. Let me at least call 911.’ You’re not in trouble; it’s an accident,” Tiani said. “It’s better than running away because now there is no more empathy for the person who had the accident. Now it’s just pure anger and they want justice. Now you got people looking for you, and you’re gonna be found.”

Fellow neighbor Darya Cole said drivers are not considerate on this Clay Gully Road. “It’s very scary, but I’m not surprised because I’ve been living here on this road for about five years and being outside walking, people do not slow down, Cole said.

The driver could face felony charges. Officials say the black Cadillac likely has damage on the right side. If you know anything, call authorities.

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