LOMA LINDA (CBSLA) — The family of 3-year-old Richie Martinez prayed together outside Loma Linda University Medical Center Tuesday night, sending their love up to the toddler laying in a hospital bed.
“He doesn’t know what’s going on,” Skye Jones, Richie’s mom, said. “He reaches out for me to pick him up, but I can’t pick him up.”
Jones cannot pick up her son because he still has swelling near the base of his skull. The toddler suffered serious fractures to his face and head and has been placed on a feeding tube.
Richie and his family were out trick-or-treating near East 35th Street and North Sierra Way in San Bernardino when the driver of a silver sedan struck him on Halloween night before driving off.
The toddler’s destroyed Batman costume laid in the street, marking the scene of the crash, as he was rushed to the hospital.
“He’s so innocent, so loving, so caring,” Jones said.
After 10 days of care under the watchful eyes of his doctors, Jones said Richie is expected to be transferred to a live-in rehab facility this week. There he will learn how to talk, eat and walk again.
“They’re not for sure that my son is going to be who he was again,” Jones said. “There’s no guarantee. They just keep saying that you gotta give it time, time, time.”
But in all the time they’ve been waiting and praying for Richie’s recovery, they’ve also been wondering how the driver — who struck a toddler and left him in the road — has not yet come forward.
“This little boy is full of life,” Leanna Yava, Richie’s aunt, said.
“Whoever hit him, you should not have ran,” Paul Rneau, a family friend, said. “It was an accident until you made it a crime.
“It’s not something that you can just shrug off your shoulders,” Scotty Jones, Richie’s uncle, said. “It’s a child.”
Richie’s grandmother Deanna Yava-Jones said she knows the driver might not do the right thing, which is why the family is now putting a significant cash reward on the table for whoever can provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
“They can be anonymous,” she said. “It’s there, and it will be there, and it’s growing.”
A GoFundMe page for the Richie has already raised $3,200 of its $4,000 goal.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact San Bernardino Police.