11-Year-Old Hit & Run Victim Is Left Dying in the Street -- Are There No Good Samaritans?

maurice richardsIt's hard enough to imagine how anyone could ever hit a child with his or her car and drive away, but it's even harder to imagine how anyone could see a kid lying hurt in the middle of the road and drive around without stopping to help. Tragically, that's exactly what happened to 11-year-old Maurice Richards in East St. Louis, and by the time someone did stop, it was too late.


Richards was crossing an intersection just a few doors down from his home early Wednesday evening when a car slammed into him and kept on going. Horrible. But what makes the whole thing so much more outrageous is that it took "several minutes" for a driver to finally stop and try to help Richards; until then, other cars simply swerved to avoid the dying boy and kept on driving. Richards died at a hospital not long after.

There are just so many heartbreaking levels to this story, and as a parent (one of my kids is a boy around Richards's age), I can't stop thinking about what his family must be going through right now. Bad enough to lose your child to a senseless accident, but to know that people were heartless enough to completely ignore him as he lay dying in the street -- including the person responsible for his death?? Richards was reportedly lying in the street long enough for his clothes to be "drenched" with rain by the time help arrived, and if that's not just unimaginably awful, I don't know what is.

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What's also awful is that at the moment, police have no suspects at all -- there were no witnesses, so they have no vehicle description. There weren't even any skid marks at the scene, which basically means that the driver didn't even try to avoid hitting Richards. (Apparently subsequent drivers came pretty close to hitting the boy, too, but were diverted by the Good Samaritan who at last stopped to try to help.) 

Nothing will bring this child back, but at least if there was a sense that some kind of justice would be served, it might help. As East St. Louis Police Detective Jason Hicks told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"Just for the fact that they’re seeing someone lying in the street and didn’t render aid … they need to be held accountable."

"If you were one of the ones that saw the young man laying in the street and went around him, you know it’s not right."

No, it's not right. It's not right at all. It's not right that this sweet-faced boy, whom his grandmother called a "happy" kid who loved riding his bike and eating pizza, will never grow up. It's downright wrong. As Post-Dispatch reporter Valerie Schremp Hahn tweeted, "What is wrong with people? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?"

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Rest in peace, Maurice. Our condolences to his family, and may someone take responsibility for stealing this little boy's life away.


Image via Valerie Schremp Hahn/Twitter

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