Teen bruised, cut after being struck by motorist

- Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol are searching for a motorist who struck a student in a crosswalk, as he was biking to school at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Zachary Hanks, 15, says it was just too dark outside. It happened near Avalon Park South Blvd. and Golden Isle Drive. Investigators say the driver left the scene.

"It was really dark, and right as I got to the sidewalk, a car turned in right here and hit my back tire and I fell," explains Hanks.  "I just wish there was more lights around here, and everyone could see more."

Neighbor Steven Bejte says he almost got hit last week in a crosswalk, after taking his 5-year-old daughter to school.

"I waited for the sign to say 'Walk.'  I started walking and a car decided to turn left. It almost hit me as I was walking with a white t-shirt and a flashlight."

He says he has notified the Orange County several times, filing reports and even calling, but he hasn't gotten any results.

"I was very angry and upset," he says. 

So is Hank's brother, Chris Chase.

"I was scared! I could have lost my brother that day!"

They have a message for drivers to watch out for students.

"Be careful, look at the bikes, pay attention to your surroundings. You could kill someone," Chase says.  "I almost lost my brother. I don't want another kid to get injured."

The county says it is installing new street lights along Avalon Park South Blvd., from Crown Hill Blvd. to Timber Springs Blvd. by Timber Creek High School.   As for the intersection where Hanks was struck, it's part of a five-year program to install new street lights on 85 miles of road.

Anyone with information on the driver that hit the student should call Florida Highway Patrol.

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