PASCO COUNTY (WFLA) – Four-year-old Joseph Soto was just getting off the school bus in his Holiday neighborhood when a pick-up truck hit him, dragged him down the street and left him in the middle of the road.
Soto had just finished his ninth day of school. The driver of the pick up never stopped.
Witnesses believe the pick-up is a blue Chevy S-10 or similar style vehicle.
Soto’s mother says he was on the right bus, but somehow got off at the wrong stop.
“I waited at his bus stop like I was supposed to,” Jennifer Moore said. “His bus came and he never got off the bus.”
She asked the bus driver where her son was and he took her to the last stop. That’s when she saw her son in the middle of the road.
“When I turned the corner, my son was laying in the middle of the road with a group of people around him because a truck hit him and took off,” Moore said.
Joseph was taken to Tampa General Hospital and treated for severe road rash and a broken femur.
“To be able to run over a child, a small child, there’s no reason for it,” said a tearful Moore.
Her son remembers everything leading up to the accident.
“He stopped and looked both ways and nobody was coming, so he started walking and that’s when he looked again,” Moore said. “He saw a blue truck coming and so he tried to run the rest of the way across the street. He said, ‘Mommy, it didn’t slow down and it knocked me over and dragged me on the ground and then I fell asleep.”
Moore says Joseph is now home, but has a long road ahead for recovery.
She would like to see the person responsible turn themselves in.
“They’re a coward, they’re an animal. They have no regards for the human race, period,” Moore said.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
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