Driver not at fault in hit-and-run that hurt child in downtown WPB, police say

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West Palm Beach police investigate a hit-and-run crash that injured a 4-year-old boy on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
West Palm Beach police investigate a hit-and-run crash that injured a 4-year-old boy on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.

A 4-year-old boy struck in a hit-and-run crash last weekend in downtown West Palm Beach has improved and is no longer in critical condition — and police have concluded the unknown driver was not at fault, a police spokesman said.

The boy was struck last Sunday at about 8 p.m. by a white four-door sedan that witnesses said was speeding down the 500 block of Okeechobee Boulevard, near The Square, formerly CityPlace, as the child and three other boys were walking with a parent.

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Police now say the child “darted away” from his family and into the sedan’s path as a traffic light was changing color.

“Our crash investigators have determined that the driver was not at fault for the crash,” said West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles. “The child darted away from his family.”

The child was severely injured and “still requires around-the-clock care,” Jachles said Sunday, but he is no longer listed in critical condition. “He obviously still has a long road ahead with the extensive injuries he’s sustained,” he said.

Although the driver was not determined to be at fault, investigators still want to question that person about their role in the crash. Jachles declined to say whether the driver still could face charges for leaving the scene.

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Detectives are pursuing new leads in the case but prefer that the driver come forward on their own, he said.

“The driver needs to step forward and do the right thing,” he said. “The family wants to be able to put this behind them.”

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to called West Palm Beach police traffic homicide investigator Daniel Dillard at 561-215-0498, or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach at 800-458-TIPS (8477).

amarra@pbpost.com

@AMarranara

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Cops: Driver not at fault in downtown WPB hit-and-run that hurt child

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