NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A hit-and-run accident that occurred on the Nacogdoches loop late Saturday left a teen in critical condition, and Nacogdoches Police investigators are asking for the public's help in finding the driver responsible.
"A young teenage man is still in the hospital in critical condition, and we are desperately trying to determine what happened Saturday night and who was involved in the accident and why they didn't stop," said Lt. Dan Taravella, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department.
The injured teen has been identified as Brandon Gipson, a 16-year-old 9th grader. Tina Woodall, Gipson's mother, said he was crossing Stallings Drive to go to a nearby convenience when he was struck.
"It's been miserable. Very miserable," Woodall said. "I like to lost my son. I can't believe somebody would do that - just leave my child lying there."
Woodall said a preacher who was driving home to Center found her son's small-statured form balled up in the middle of the road. He lay on Northeast Stallings Drive, just north of where a Homecoming dance was taking place.
"The idea that he got hit," said Alfred Gipson, Brandon's father. "Somebody should have notified somebody. That's what hurts me the baddest - looking at him all bruised up."
Gipson suffered head trauma and internal bleeding as a result of the auto-pedestrian accident. He also suffered a broken arm, bruises, and scrapes, Woodall said. However, doctors have said that they are the most concerned about Gipson's head trauma, she said.
At this point, Gipson is on a respirator as needed, and he is sedated, Woodall said.
Woodall said her son had just celebrated his 16th birthday on Oct. 16 and that he had gotten money and a haircut for his birthday. She said she had reluctantly decided to let her son go to his first Homecoming dance.
"Friday, the teacher had called me. I guess the counselor or whatever," Woodall said. "Well, he skipped two classes, and he didn't go, and they called me to tell me they were going to put him in ISS because he didn't go. When he came home, I asked him, 'Why are you skipping school?' He says, 'Mama, because there's two boys out there bullying me.'"
Woodall said she now questions whether or not her son was really going to or from the dance as the police report indicated. She said she bases her doubt on what ICU visitors told her Saturday.
"The other story says that he was at the homecoming, and two boys were going to jump him," Woodall said. "Instead of those two boys jumping him, he just took off."
Brandon Gipson's parents don't know what to believe.
"I don't know where he was going or where he was coming from," Alfred Gipson said.
The hope is that Brandon Gipson's condition will improve to the point that he can tell authorities and parents what happened before the accident. Brandon Gipson's parents are also hoping that the person responsible turns himself or herself in for the felony hit-and-run accident.
According to a press release, the hit-and-run accident occurred in the 3300 block of NE Stallings Drive at about 10:13 p.m. Saturday. NPD's dispatch received a 911 call about a pedestrian accident victim lying in the roadway on NE Stallings Drive across from Nacogdoches High School.
"The teenage victim was coming or going from the Nacogdoches Homecoming dance at the high school at the time of the accident," the press release stated.
The suspect vehicle may be a white-colored Honda Acura, and it will likely have moderate front end damage, the press release stated.
"NPD is asking the public for help. Employers who change shifts at approximately 10 pm are asked to notify NPD if there are any vehicles possibly related to this incident on their property," the press release stated. "Body shops, auto repair shops and insurance agencies are also asked to be on extra alert for this type of vehicle coming to their attention for repairs or insurance claims."
The Nacogdoches Police Department is asking for anyone with any information about this accident to call the NPD Traffic Division at (936) 559-2639 or Nacogdoches Crime Stoppers at 560-INFO (4636).
A fund has been set up to assist with Brandon Gipson's medical expenses. To donate, visit this link.