AVALON PARK, Fla. - A mother and the man who helped save her son after a hit-and-run had a tearful reunion Wednesday.
"Thank you so much, can I give you a hug? You saved my son’s life. I have no words," Felicia Lakharam said to Jordan Harris as the two embraced.
Lakharam’s 12-year-old son Hayden had been hit by a car in Avalon Park around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 18th at Avalon Park East and Auburn Cove Lane.
The driver who hit the little boy kept on going, leaving the boy for dead, as did another driver who saw what happened.
Harris had been out walking his dog when Hayden got hit.
"When I looked up, I just saw his body in the air, then hit the ground."
Surveillance video from a nearby home says Hayden tried to get up, but couldn’t. Doctors say his kneecap is broken, and they’re going to be doing tests to check for any injuries to his spine.
"I saw him on the ground, and I know how the cars drive by here, and I was like, ‘I don’t want another car to finish off what just happened,’" Harris explained.
Lakharam says Hayden had only been riding his bike to school for about a week.
"I just had a newborn baby and the baby was born sickly. So that’s why Hayden decided to ride his bike to school, because we can’t really have the baby in the car for a long period of time," said Lakharam. "So Hayden was like, ‘I’m gonna be the big brother, Mom, that you want me to be, I’m gonna ride my bike to school."
She says the hit-and-run was the exact thing she feared. But she’s thanking the Heavens for Harris.
"You came by, you’re a night in shining armor," she told him. "I’m so thankful that you were there, that something gave you that courage to go and help him off the road, because other people would’ve just kept on walking."
Hayden wrote Harris a card, which his mom was able to deliver Wednesday after FOX 35 arranged for this meeting.
"Hello Jordan, thank you so much for after I got hit by the car, risking your life for me. Hayden."
Now that Hayden is beginning his recovery, his family is turning its focus to making the intersection safer.
The crosswalk and pedestrian signs at the intersection are new; community members told FOX 35 they went to bat with the County just to get it.
But neighbors say that still isn’t enough, and that for Hayden, it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been closer to the crosswalk.
Now, they want a stop sign added, or perhaps a speed bump. At the very least, they’d like lights put up at the cross walk to help alert drivers someone is trying to walk across the road.
The family finds out Monday whether Hayden may need surgery. But he says he’s getting back on his bike as soon as he can.
One witness described the vehicle as a silver sedan, but was unable to get a license plate number. Anyone who recognized the vehicle or has any information is asked to contact Florida Highway Patrol or Crimeline at 800-423-8477 (TIPS).