A Christchurch teenager who lives to play football will spend the next six weeks on crutches after a hit-and-run driver ran him over on a Linwood footpath.
The vehicle - a small blue flat-deck four-wheel-drive similar to a 1990s Hilux - stopped only momentarily after hitting Ryan Fowler, 14, on the corner of Chelsea St and Linwood Ave about 4.15pm on Sunday.
The impact broke Ryan's right foot in two places.
The Shirley Boys' High School pupil had just left Eastgate shopping centre and was walking to his home nearby.
The southbound vehicle mounted the footpath and hit Ryan as it turned from Chelsea St into Linwood Ave.
"The car came up and just, crunch. I was looking straight at the car," he said.
The vehicle stopped, but only the front-seat passenger, a skinny blonde woman in her 20s, got out briefly.
It then sped off down Linwood Ave.
Ryan's mother, Pam Fowler, said the driver's actions were "disgusting".
"If you ran a dog over in the street you would stop. To do that to a child, regardless if you've got no licence or you're drunk, you have to stop," she said.
"They knew he was injured, it was obvious. He was screaming out in pain. He could have had internal bleeding. The fact they continued on, knowing they hit him, that's the sickening part."
A passing couple pulled over, helped Ryan into their car and dropped him home, where his shocked parents phoned an ambulance.
Police want public assistance to identify the vehicle and its occupants. Sergeant Richard Ryan also urged any witnesses - including the good samaritans who helped - to come forward, as no-one phoned 111 at the time.
Ryan Fowler said the break was extremely painful. The injury also meant about two months on the sideline for the passionate footballer.
Pam Fowler said she hoped the culprit was found and charged. She also wanted to thank the couple who stopped to help her son.
Police said they were obtaining security footage from the area.
CAN YOU HELP? Did you see the hit-and-run crash on the corner of Linwood Ave and Chelsea St, Christchurch, about 4.15pm on Sunday? Phone Sergeant Richard Ryan on 363-7400 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Press