Hit & run leaves 11-year-old in the hospital with coma, JSO investigates

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family is praying for a full recovery after a hit and run crash left their 11-year-old son in the hospital with serious injuries.

Family said Vito Johnson was biking home with his friends on the Eastside when two cars chasing each other raced up behind them.

One of the cars hit Vito at the corner of Troyan and Phelps St. on Friday and then took off, according to his cousin, who was there.

“It was just a lot. I didn’t really know what to do,” Kenyattie Johnson said. He described the suspect’s car as a silver Honda Civic.

According to Vito’s father, Anthony Johnson, detectives found the involved car abandoned on West 26th St. near Brentwood over the weekend. JSO said it was reported stolen.

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Vito is now in the hospital in a coma, but family members said he’s showing signs of improvement. Swelling has gone down every day since the crash, and he’s scheduled for MRI and CT scans Thursday and Friday.

“When he comes out, he’s going to have a story to tell ... He’s a blessing,” Anthony said.

His son just turned 11 years old in the hospital Saturday.

“My nephew shouldn’t have to celebrate his eleventh birthday having surgery. He shouldn’t have to be there for this. He’s supposed to be having fun,” Vito’s uncle, Lawrence Blunt, said.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it is investigating a hit and run involving a juvenile Friday but had no additional information.

Action News Jax requested the crash report, but so far, we have not received it.

According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there have been 44 injuries because of hit and run crashes in Duval County so far this year.

The trend of hit and runs involving injuries has increased over the past three years in Duval from 1,197 incidents in 2019 to 1,377 in 2021. Sixteen people have died in hit and run crashes each year since 2019.

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The Johnsons ask anyone with information to step forward.

“I’m going to find justice for my son,” said Anthony Johnson.

Action News Jax will update this story once we learn more from JSO.

For those who want to help the family, a GoFundMe has been posted. You can find the link HERE.