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10-year-old in critical condition after being struck by cab in Upper Fells Point hit-and-run, police say

A 10-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was struck by a cab Tuesday evening in Upper Fells Point, according to police.

The boy was riding a skateboard in the 1900 block of Bank Street at about 6 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit by a yellow cab van, Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said at a news conference Wednesday.

“We believe that the injuries are survivable at this time, but a 10-year old boy is in critical condition, and the vehicle that struck him kept going,” Smith said.

The boy’s mother, Patricia Bell, told news station WJZ that “it didn’t even take a minute or two. The cab just ran him over and he was under the tires.” In the ambulance, she said, he cried for his mother: “‘I want my mommy, I want my mommy.’”

“My baby. It’s hard,” Bell cried. “They tell you it’s a life or death situation.”

Smith described the vehicle as a “yellow cab van,” but said it was unclear which company the cab was affiliated with.

Police are searching for the driver and for cab vans with signs of damage, Smith said.

A company called Yellow Cab of Baltimore is one of several that operates in the city, but Smith said the cab involved in the accident was not necessarily one of its vehicles.

“There are so many cab drivers that work here — over 600,” said Navin Dass, general manager of Yellow Cab of Baltimore. “It’s a community — we would have known, we would have heard.”

Dass said he reached out to the police department as soon as he heard about the accident Wednesday morning. He said his company is reviewing GPS data for its vehicles to try to discern whether any of its minivan cabs were in the area at the time of the accident.

“I am interested in making sure we get to the bottom of this, whether it’s us or not,” Dass said.

Jason Vergara, 30, said he was driving directly behind the yellow cab when he saw it stall briefly and then speed away from the scene of the accident.

“I never saw the taxi go ‘bump, bump,’ I never saw any contact,” said Vergara.

Vergara said he jumped out of his car and attempted to redirect traffic while another witness called police.

Vergara said he believes the boy was riding his skateboard along the right side of the cab before the driver struck him. The child was still conscious when Vergara approached him.

“He’s in shock, he’s frantic. He’s 10 years old and just got hit by a car,” he said.

The commotion attracted the attention of nearby residents who came to the scene to comfort the boy and direct drivers away from the accident.

Smith called for the driver to turn himself or herself in to police.

“Turn yourself in. Explain what happened,” Smith said. “It could be a logical explanation as to what happened but leaving the scene of an accident is a crime.”

Police are looking into video footage from the area, and asking anyone with information about the hit-and-run to come forward.

Bell said she hopes the driver is found soon. “This monster is still running out there,” she said.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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