ELIZABETH BOROUGH, Pa. — A man is in a coma, and police need help identifying a driver of what they’re considering a hit-and-run crash that happened around 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The crash happened at the intersection of Robinson and Sixth Street in West Elizabeth. A dark Buick-style SUV didn’t make a complete stop at a stop sign, and at the same time, a dad and his daughter were coming through the intersection on a toy electric scooter.
In one home security camera video given to Channel 11 by police, you see the moment a 36-year-old dad, identified by family as Nicholas Shoemaker, and his three-year-old daughter ride off on the toy scooter.
Then, in the top corner of the video, you also see a black SUV coming into the picture. The impact is made right off-camera.
But another angle shows the impact.
The little girl was wearing a helmet. The father was not. He is seen hitting his head on the curb right before the car comes to a stop.
Police were never called.
“None of this was reported to police,” said Elizabeth Police Chief William Sombo. “Now I have a 36-year-old male in Allegheny General Hospital with a brain bleed, is in a coma, and on a respirator.”
Sombo said one of his officers was working Saturday morning at the farmers market when someone asked him about this accident. That person showed the officer the video, and then immediately called the chief.
“I’m not looking for getting [sic] anybody in trouble right now, I’m looking to make sure we have the report done,” Sombo said.
Sombo said Shoemaker started to get headaches Friday night. The family tells Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek a relative drove him to the hospital about an hour after the accident.
He was later flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh.
“We need to have answers,” Sombo said.
The young girl was doing fine Saturday, but Sombo said he showed the mom the video of the impact Saturday afternoon, and then the mom took her to the hospital for an evaluation.
Havranek spoke off-camera with the family, who said the girl is doing fine.
Even though the driver stopped and stayed on the scene for six minutes, leaving after Shoemaker and his daughter walked away, police are considering this a hit-and-run.
“Any impact, ever so slight, needs to be reported,” Sombo said. “It’s our determination if it’s a reportable or non-reportable crash. [A] vehicle, person, attended or unattended vehicle, a person, property, it doesn’t matter. When you hit something with your vehicle in the state of Pennsylvania you have to report it.”
Police believe the driver is a woman in her 60s. If you recognize her or that car, or have any information that can help investigators, you’re asked to call 911 or the police department.
The family said they are asking for prayers and want someone to come forward.
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