By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A young boy remains in the intensive care unit Tuesday while another is recovering after being hit by a truck late Sunday night.
"The length of the crime scene spread three blocks when I turned that corner," said Lindsey Mojica, a family member of the two boys.
According to a police report, Leland Garcia, 15, and his cousin Ethan Luck, 10, were riding their bicycles at 46th and Avenue T around 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Police said the driver of the red truck Danielle Renea Tjaden, 20, dragged one of the boys several feet underneath her car while trying to flee the scene before a witness flagged her down.
"When I got the phone call I thought they were dead. It makes you want to count your blessings for sure because just the thought of not having him here. And seeing him in the amount of pain he is in, it's something you want to take away from him but can't," said Mojica.
Police said Tjaden cut the corner too sharp when making a left turn and went into oncoming traffic. Mojica said Leland told her he tried to stop Ethan from being hit. "He stared driving over there and Ethan couldn't hear when he was trying to holler at him to stop," said Mojica.
In his attempt, police said Leland was hit and bounced off the truck. According to the report, Ethan was caught underneath the truck and dragged more than 250 feet while his bike peg grinded into the street before he was freed. Mojica said the bike peg saved Ethan's life.
"Ethan told us when it happened when he realized he was been dragged he thought he was going to die. He lifted his hands up to keep his head from being injured. He slid and kept his hands up like this," said Mojica.
The suspect's mother said it all happened steps away from their house. "It was literally right around the corner so we ran right on over there," said Cindy Bell, Danielle Rene Tjaden's mother.
Mojica said seeing the mangled bikes of her brother Ethan and nephew Leland is shocking. And even worse she said is the severe road rash Ethan suffered.
"Ethan is covered from his entire waist up with road rash. His entire stomach was ripped off. His arms and fingertips are gone. I mean it was horrible," said Mojica.
But the suspect's mother said they tried to help the two boys shortly after. She said it was just an accident.
"[My daughter] didn't drag them anywhere it was there bikes. The boys got hit and they were both right there by the stop sign. And the bikes were here because she was trying to get the bikes out from the tires," said Bell.
Tjaden was arrested, transported and booked into the Lubbock PD holding facility Sunday. Tjaden is charged with failure to stop and render aid after striking the two boys. Her bond was set at $20,000. Tjaden bonded out Monday. Police said Tjaden faces up to 10 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
"If she would have done a crime that she deserved to stay in jail, we would have left her in jail. It was a total accident she didn't intend to hit those little boys," said Bell.
But Mojica said it will take time for the boys to get over the physical and emotional pain.
"I'm praying that everything heals right. We are definitely worried about how the skin on the stomach is going to grow back," said Mojica.
Both boys were taken to the Covenant. Leland was discharged Monday. Ethan remains in ICU at the Covenant Children's Lakeside Hospital. Ethan had surgery Monday and is being treated for severe road rash.
The family is asking for help with their medical bills. You can donate to Ethan Luck at First Convenient Bank inside any Walmart. And you can donate to Leland Garcia at any City Bank.
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