Witness: Boy, 8, knocked out of socks and shoes in fatal hit-and-run
DETROIT (WJBK) - Witness of a Detroit hit-and-run that killed an 8-year-old boy said the child was hit so hard, the little boy was knocked out of his socks and shoes.
Brandyn Starks was killed Thursday evening as he was trying to find a local park in Detroit but he never made it. The boy was walking across Fort Street, pulling his wagon behind him when someone hit him.
Nathan Dennings watched the tragedy unfold.
"I couldn't imagine. Somebody ran your child over, didn't care. Just left them," Dennings said. "He hit him so hard he took the boy out of his shoes and his socks."
Detroit police say the 8-year-old boy had autism and was crossing the street at a light. The light was green for travel but the boy was crossing anyway. Some drivers, like Dennings, had stopped.
"I saw the little boy running out from the side of the church with his little red wagon. As he got half-way across, I stopped, the lady next to me stopped."
A third car also stopped to let him cross, but Dennings said a bluish green Chevy SUV, going about 55 miles per hour, drove around Dennings and hit the boy.
"The wagon flew up, went off into the grass, the handle went the other way into the street."
8-year-old boy killed in hit and run, DPD looks for SUV driver
Dennings saw the boy stuck on the bottom of the car.
"I can see the little boy's body flipping under the car as he's dragging him (for) a city block."
Dennings and other witnesses blocked traffic to try to help the 8-year-old. Brandyn's older brother ran to the crash as rescue crews arrived.
"He instantly freaked out, screaming 'that's my brother, my brother'," Dennings said.
Dennings said it all happened so fast and the SUV was gone.
"It didn't cross my mind to get a plate. I was stuck on the kid. I just watched a little boy get killed."
Police are looking for a blue-green Chevy SUV with damage to its front-end and lights. They say it's a little darker than the surveillance video shows and don't have a description of the driver beyond that he was a black man.
"Regardless of whatever someone's got going on in their life, he should've stopped," Denning said.
After hearing about what happened, Reverend Dr. Curtis Williams decided to offer free funeral services to that little boy's family.
"I just want to help them in every possible way I can," Dr. Williams said.
The Starks family has asked for privacy and for anyone who knows anything about the reckless driver who killed the boy to do what's right.
"Say something. That little boy needs justice. Especially his family," Dennings.
"This family needs a hug. This family needs love," Dr. Williams said. "This family needs hope, this family needs healing."
If you recognize the teal green Chevy, please call Detroit police at 313-596-5400.