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Search continues for driver who struck 4-year-old boy in West Palm Beach

Child in critical condition
Child hit by car in West Palm Beach Dec. 12, 2021
Posted at 1:30 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 18:10:16-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Police in West Palm Beach said Monday that a 4-year-old boy remains hospitalized with traumatic injuries after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver Sunday night.

The child was with his father and three other children, attempting to cross the eastbound lanes of Okeechobee Boulevard near Rosemary Avenue just after 8 p.m.

Authorities said Monday they are looking for a white four-door sedan that left the scene.

The child was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in critical condition and had surgery Monday.

Investigators are looking at surveillance video and continue to work leads in the case.

Witnesses said the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the child, according to West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles.

"The message to the driver of that vehicle, if you're seeing this, do the right thing," Jachles said. "Make it easier on yourself and come forward."

Neighbors said for years they have complained about this stretch of Okeechobee Boulevard where the child was hit, often referring to it as "perilous corner."

"It's extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. First, is people speeding, and second is people not wanting to wait on the light," said a resident named Mike.

Mike said he was walking his dog around 8 p.m. Sunday when his worst fear happened in front of him.

"I said to myself, 'He's going to hit the kid.' I was so shaken that I closed my eyes, and I wish I hadn't done that because instead of seeing it, I heard it," he said.

Mike is now calling for more enforcement.

"One thing is for certain, they need to make a significant effort right here, smack in the middle of town," Mike said.

Tourism leaders said they have been pushing for the construction of a pedestrian bridge across Okeechobee Boulevard in an effort to increase safety.