A teenager was cycling through a residential neighborhood in northern Lewisville to get trash bags for yard work with her family when she was hit by what was identified as a Honda Accord before it drove away.
Rebecca Wittek, 15, was riding her bike Wednesday, Dec. 28 around 2:45 p.m. to the nearby Walmart and saw the black sedan approaching but said she figured she had enough time to make it across Teton Trail. She realized too late it was going to hit her and she tried to turn left to get out of its way.
“He hit me and I tumbled to the ground. I crawled frantically to get away from the car and not go under it,” Rebecca said. “The bike got lodged underneath the left front tire and bumper. I got away from the car and screamed, ‘Stop!’ because he was still moving.”
Rebecca said the worst of her injuries were to her head, her hand and her right knee. She was not wearing a helmet and got a concussion from hitting the ground with her head. Mother Jessica Wittek said she has scrapes on her shoulders, elbows, legs and hands. She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance but did not break any bones.
Nearby resident John Smith, who spoke to the Lewisville Texan Journal under the circumstances his real name be withheld for his family’s safety, came out of his home with his daughter after hearing screeching tires, a faint thud and the crying of a girl, he said.
“He was standing next to Rebecca telling her, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t see you. Are you ok?’ I believe he was genuinely concerned about her at the time,” Smith said.
Smith said when he saw the bike under the car, he called 911. The driver asked him not to call the police or to wait until he left to call the police, but Smith said he couldn’t do that.
“‘You just hit a kid,’” Smith recounted saying to the driver. While Smith was pacing around the back of the car, he said the driver told him he was going to pull the car off the bike, which Smith didn’t think twice about. “And as soon as he jumped in the car, it clicked that he was going to take off.”
Rebecca said the bike was still lodged beneath his car when the driver fled the scene. There are grooves in the concrete where the bike was dragged along.
“He went about 40 to 50 feet before the bike unlocked itself from the car and was left in the road in a million pieces,” she said.
Smith said the person driving had a dark complexion and was probably 16 to 18. He described him as having a heavy build and being 5 foot 7 to 9 inches, no taller than 5 foot 10 inches. The suspect had short braids on the top of his head about an inch or two in length each and the sides of his head were shaved, Smith said. He was wearing a Chicago Bulls basketball jersey.
Smith said he is a car guy and is positive the vehicle was a black Honda Accord with aluminum wheels. Damage would be on the front left side of the vehicle. Smith repeated the license plate number out loud as the man drove away while one of the girls took it down in their phone, he said. Smith said there were only six digits on the plate, but officers said he was missing a digit.
Police Captain Mike Lane said the reported digits did not turn up any cars in the system. The investigator on the case is using special computer programs to determine potential combinations of the plate numbers reported.
“It can try possible variations, maybe it’s not a letter “B,” maybe it’s an 8. They look kind of similar,” Lane said.
Because an officer did not witness the suspect driving, he said police would not have arrested him for not having a driver’s license had he stayed. The suspect would have probably gotten a citation and be allowed to leave the scene, Lane said.
“Since he left though and there was an injury, he took what would have been a Class C ticket for no driver’s license and elevated it all the way to a felony for a failure to stop and render aid,” he said.
Wittek said she filed a police report and plans to prosecute to the extent of the law if the perpetrator is caught. She said the incident has left her angry, incredulous and vigilant.
“I never would have considered that someone could hit someone and keep going,” Wittek said.
Lane said the probability of catching a hit-and-run suspect is greater when citizens help. He gave an example of a man this past week who saw a man commit a hit-and-run and the witness followed the suspect to Dallas until police were on the scene to arrest him.
“The witness was actually on his way home to The Colony, so he took time out of going home to The Colony and followed the guy all the way to Dallas to make sure the police got him,” he said. “When the public helps us, then we catch them a lot.”
To provide information about this crime to officials, contact Lewisville Police Department at 972-219-3600 and ask for an officer. You can also call the tip line at 972-219-8477 (TIPS) or text 847411 with the letters “tiplpd” followed by your message.