IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls mother is desperately searching for the driver who hit her son with a car while he was riding his bike.
It happened on Sunday around 9:40 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway Street and Saturn Drive. KC Gardner, 15, said he just got off work and was riding his bike back home. He pressed the crosswalk button and when it was safe to go, he rode his bike across but didn’t make it.
“I was halfway through the crosswalk when I saw a very bright set of headlights and by the time I had seen them, I already knew it was too late for me to do something,” Gardner told EastIdahoNews.com. “The first thing I did was check to see if I could see out of my eye safely and the second thing I did was call my mom.”
Elizabeth Bates, Gardner’s mom, was concerned and instantly thought of her youngest son who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was little.
“Knowing that my son was left sitting on the side of the road with a possible brain injury, in which he could have collapsed at any moment, and somebody just left him there and didn’t call for help or anything, made me angry,” said Bates. “It broke my heart that somebody cared so much for themselves and so little for my son that they left him bleeding and didn’t call for help. That’s unforgivable to me.”
Gardner went to the Sinclair gas station off of Broadway Street and went to put a paper towel on his face. His mother met him there and then took him to the hospital.
“KC did say that the people stopped and asked if he was okay,” Bates recalled. “He said, ‘Yeah I’m fine, I’ll call my mom,’ and then they left. A 15-year-old boy who just got hit by a car doesn’t know whether he’s OK. He just suffered a traumatic experience, and him saying that he’s OK doesn’t justify you leaving him there on the side of the road.”
Doctors at EIRMC ran a CT scan and performed x-rays for broken bones. Nothing was broken but there was a big gash in Gardner’s head and he needed to go to a specialist in Pocatello to fix his eyelid.
Gardner wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time, and if he did get a concussion, doctors said it was mild.
“I’m probably going to wear a helmet now to be safe,” Gardner said.
Bates and Gardner reported the incident to the Idaho Falls Police Department. Gardner believes the vehicle that hit him was an early 2000s Jeep, Cherokee body style and dark in color — black, dark gray, or dark blue. He said the male driver was in his 30s with a female passenger around her 30s.
Some nearby businesses checked surveillance video but could not find anything because the cameras are too far away.
Bates is pleading for help and shared the experience on her Facebook page. She asks anyone who knows anything to come forward.
“If they did it to my son, what’s going to stop them from doing it to somebody else who may not be so lucky?” she said.
Anyone with information should contact dispatch at (208) 529-1200.