PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - Twelve-year-old Christian Castle had every intention of taking advantage of a rare 50-degree day on Jan. 7.
He joked with his mom before hopping on his bike and pedaling up Baldwin Road in Pontiac to a friend's house. "He said, 'I'm never coming back again, Mom, I’m staying gone forever,'" his mother said. It was a premonition that nearly came true: "Five minutes after leaving our house he got hit by a car on Baldwin."
Rachael Castle rushed up the road to scene of the crash.
"They made me identify if it was him or not by his shoe laying in the middle of Baldwin Road," Castle said.
Around 4 in the afternoon on that Monday at the crest of the hill near Garner Street, Christian was hit by a white Ford Econoline Van. Witnesses helped fill in the blanks.
"Christian flew off of the bike onto the windshield of the vehicle," Rachael said. "Christian got stuck on top of the vehicle, the hood of the vehicle, and the guy kind of wiggled the van to get Christian off of it."
Sheriff deputies say after hitting Christian, the driver of the van never stopped and continued north on Baldwin.
Investigators say they found the white Econoline van abandoned on Pingree Street, less than a quarter mile from the scene. The driver was nowhere in sight. According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, they have identified a possible suspect but no arrests have been made yet.
"Not even thinking twice or stopping or anything, my kid could've died in the middle of the road," Rachael said.
The 12-year-old was rushed to the hospital with a broken pelvis, tailbone, multiple skull fractures and brain damage.
"They have him in a neck brace because of that fracture in the back of the skull," Rachael said.
Christian was briefly off a ventilator but couldn’t breathe on his own for long and remains in intensive care. The family is chipping in where they can, helping look after Christian's two younger brothers.
His mom has hardly left his side, but they know when they are out of the woods here, there will be more hurdles that lie ahead.
"We live week by week, paycheck by paycheck," said Laura Coburn, Christian's aunt.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to deal with bills and helping Christian adjust to life once he heals. If you'd like to make a donation to the family, you can do so online here.