2011-12-09 / Front Page

Hit And Run Horror

BC Family Wants Motorist Brought To Justice
By Howard Schwach

Matthew Randall in a photo taken at Jamaica Hospital right after the accident. Matthew Randall in a photo taken at Jamaica Hospital right after the accident. While Matthew Randall does not remember much about the night he was struck by a hit-and-run motorist driving a Red Hyundai Sonata as he crossed Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel, it is also a night he can’t forget because of the injuries the crash caused him – 40 stitches to close the lacerations on his head, a fractured tibia, a detached muscle and numerous others bodily assaults.

All the 18-year-old Broad Channel teen remembers is that he was crossing the boulevard at about 9 p.m. on October 14 and that he was smoking a cigarette.

“I didn’t even see the car coming, it just hit me on my right side and threw me up onto the hood of the car and then off and onto the street,” he says. “I remember lying on my back on the street and seeing a man, who looked like he was 40 or 50 years old, get out of the red car. I remember asking him to call 911. That’s all I remember until I was in the volies’ ambulance.”

Randall says that the man might have said something to him, but he can’t remember what it was. He thinks that the man, who was driving in the southbound lane when he was hit, kept on going towards Rockaway.

“I can’t believe that he just looked at me, bleeding on the street, and then got into his car and drove away without calling for help,” Randall adds.

Another Broad Channel resident saw the accident and called 911. He told responding police about the red Hyundai. He was unable to get the car’s license plate number, however. An ambulance from the Broad Channel Volunteers transported Randall to the Trauma Center at Jamaica Hospital.

He was treated and held for three days before he was released.

The scars on his face still remain and he will need plastic surgery and another operation to repair his tendons and muscles.

Lisa Randall, Matthew’s mother, says that she got a call from the 100 Precinct about ten days after the accident. She told The Wave that she was told by the precinct that a man and his attorney walked into the precinct house on October 24 and inquired about “the hit and run accident on Cross Bay Boulevard on October 14.” The attorney, who did all the talking, said that his client owned a red Hyundai, but that he would not admit to being the driver of the car that struck the victim.

The two men were then allowed to walk away without providing identification, Randall said.

She added that the man lives in Broad Channel, but Randall and her family, despite diligent searching, have not been able to find the accident car parked in the island community.

They think the driver might have repaired the car, had it repainted, or even gotten rid of the car after the accident.

They are outraged that the driver may well be walking the streets of their home community after striking and injuring their son and then driving away without getting him help.

The family is also dissatisfied by the way the police have addressed the accident.

“Police asked my son the night of the accident, when he was in the hospital and suffering from trauma, if he could identify the driver. He told them that he could not, and they have not spoken with him since he came home,” Lisa Randall said. “No photo identification was requested from the man when he came to the precinct so that my son could have looked at the photo. We have been told that the police had requested the tapes from the Cross Bay Bridge and the records of that kind of automobile crossing that night, but it has been two months and we have heard nothing. We feel that as every day goes by, Matthew will be less able to identify the man who got out of the car.”

“We just want justice for Matthew,” his mother says. “We do not want the criminal who did this to go free and be allowed to drive around and hit some other person as if he did nothing wrong. My son was the victim, and I don’t want anybody else’s son to become a victim of the same criminal.”

A local police source told The Wave on Wednesday that the investigation is still active but there is no evidence to tie the man who came to the precinct to the hit and run incident.

The source added that detectives working the case have seen one photo from the Cross Bay Bridge toll plaza, but that it is inconclusive and does not show the driver in any detail.

The detectives have asked for photos from different angles and are still awaiting those photos from the Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Those photos typically take a few months to get into police hands, the source says.

“We need something to tie the driver to the car at the time of the accident,” the source concluded.

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