Driver runs away after boy gets smashed into windshield in Seaside Heights, NJ crash
SEASIDE HEIGHTS — A 19-year-old driver from Bergen County has been busted after a hit-and-run that sent a 10-year-old smashing into a windshield and then flying off a speeding car, seriously injuring the boy.
On Friday just before 7 p.m., Seaside Heights police responded to the intersection of Barnegat Avenue and Freemont Avenue, where the boy had been riding his bicycle, according to police.
A 2012 Infinity G37 had been speeding west on Freemont when it struck the victim, according to police and witnesses.
The driver, later identified as Giancarlos Fernandez, of Hasbrouck Heights, ran from the car but was caught blocks later, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Fernandez has been charged with assault by auto and knowingly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries.
🔴 Boy’s mom says bystanders of Seaside Heights hit and run sprang into action
The boy’s mother, Julia Spalding, shared urgent messages to social media directly after her son was struck, pleading for help finding footage of the car involved in the horrific crash.
“My son was hit in front of my house and dragged a block over,” she posted on her personal Facebook page, asking for any ring doorbell or other security camera footage from neighbors.
The boy was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he underwent at least one surgery on his foot and was diagnosed with a concussion, Spalding told New Jersey 101.5.
She said that her son was still in the hospital on Tuesday, as surgeons were going to assess whether he might need another surgery.
Doctors treating her son have told her that he “is so lucky to be alive.”
A GoFundMe campaign, setup by relative Erin Albertson, described what the family has been going through.
“Julia, his mother, is a hard-working single mother that has been unable to work since this happened. Jack has a long road to recovery and I’d like everyone to share this story to help support this beautiful family on their healing journey,” according to the fundraiser summary, which had received more than $6,000 in donations as of Tuesday afternoon.
Spaulding said she has been overcome with gratitude for the way bystanders rushed to help her son immediately after the Friday hit and run.
Seaside Heights police, meanwhile, gave standardized field sobriety tests to Fernandez after catching him. They also obtained a warrant for a blood sample.
Fernandez was then taken to Ocean County Jail, pending a detention hearing.