POLICE are hunting a hit-and-run driver who mowed down a disabled Sunderland teenager on a city road before fleeing the scene.
Callum Jacques was on his way to meet his girlfriend, Laura Hedley, at the city’s Aquatic Centre, next to the Stadium of Light, on Tuesday evening.
As 17-year-old Callum crossed Keir Hardie Way, he says that traffic lights turned from red to green and a car hit him, sending him flying into the air.
He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital with a gaping wound on his forehead and leg injuries.
Callum has told police that the male driver asked if he was okay, but then drove away.
Northumbria Police have confirmed that they are hoping to track down the driver and have appealed for witnesses.
Callum and his family hit the headlines four years ago after being awarded £175,000 in an out-of-court settlement, when medics at Sunderland Royal Hospital failed to diagnose a form of paralysis known as Erb’s Palsy.
Immediately after Callum’s birth, in which he had to be resuscitated, doctors told his mum, Anna, that her baby boy’s right shoulder was swollen, but would mend itself in time. He is still unable to use his right arm.
After being referred to St James University Hospital, in Leeds, at about 18 months old, Callum’s family were told by a doctor that his was the worst case of Erb’s Palsy he had seen in 10 years.
Anna told the Echo: “He’s been through so much, and as his mam this is very upsetting and frustrating for me.
“The driver left him in a pool of blood and we need to catch this person.”
After being told about the crash, Anna, also mum to Lauren, 18, and Louis, 10, rushed to the scene from her nearby home in North Bridge Street.
“When I got there Callum was being put onto a spinal board and into an ambulance,” said the 36-year-old. “I couldn’t believe it.”
“After all of the operations he’s had, the only place Callum didn’t have scars was his face, and now he’s got stitches in his head.
“The doctors have said if it wasn’t for his size, he’s 6ft 2in, and he was a smaller boy, he wouldn’t be here now.”
Anna added that she wants the public’s support to help catch the person responsible.
“I put a post up on Facebook to see if anyone saw anything at the time,” she said. “I don’t know how a person could just leave him in the road like that.”
Callum, a former Monkwearmouth School pupil, is now recovering at home after being discharged from the Royal, but hopes to continue with a football coaching programme he has enrolled on when he gets better.
“He’s been going to the Stadium of Light to do an FA coaching course and although they’ve said he can do the theory work, he won’t be able to do the practical stuff for a few weeks.
“We’ll keep him at home for the next few weeks and then see how he is.”
Callum says the vehicle he was hit by was a black estate car and was driven by a man aged in his late 20s or early 30s, with dark hair and stubble.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Police received a report at 6.44pm on Tuesday, January 27, of a collision outside Sunderland Aquatic Centre, near Keir Hardie Way, in Sunderland.
“A male pedestrian had been hit by a vehicle.
“The collision is being treated as a hit-and-run collision.
“The pedestrian suffered a deep cut to his head and was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment.
“Police are appealing for the driver of the vehicle to contact officers and anyone who saw the collision is also asked to ring police.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 954 of 27/01/15.