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Family of 6-year-old boy injured in hit-and-run speaks out

A driver in a St. Joseph neighborhood hit a young boy on the 4th of July and then drove away. Police are now looking for the driver, while the boy’s family hopes for his arrest.

Posted: Jul 8, 2019 10:24 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2019 8:42 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A driver in a St. Joseph neighborhood hit a young boy on the 4th of July and then drove away. Police are now looking for the driver, while the boy’s family hopes for his arrest.

Neil Hendrix and his family were celebrating the 4th of July at a friend’s house on South 18th Street. His 6-year-old son, Oden, was playing with friends and lighting fireworks before a silver Dodge truck plowed down the street.

The driver swerved, hit Oden out of his shoes and into the grass.

"He slowed down, looked behind him, seen what he did, and took off," said Neil Hendrix, describing what he saw right after the driver hit Oden.

“There are kids out everywhere and you think people respect that but then you realize they don’t care about anything or anyone except themselves,” Neil Hendrix said.

Oden is physically okay. He was taken and checked out at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

“He’s good no broken bones,” Neil Hendrix said. “Just stitches on the head.”

The young boy also has some bumps and bruises on his legs and arms. Emotionally, he’s okay too.

“It didn’t hurt real bad,” Oden said. “It happened so fast.”

But his family is not.

“It was the most emotional thing I’ve ever been through,” Neil Hendrix said. “I was so upset. I didn’t want nobody to touch him,”

His dad said the night haunts him.

“It’s hard to sleep,” Neil Hendrix said. “I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t eat right now. Even though I know he’s safe and he’s doing good. It’s something I can’t get out of my head. Every time I close my eyes. Everything, the sound, the vision, I watched it.”

The Hendrix family is still shaken by the incident but hopeful the St. Joseph Police Department will find the driver.

“Thank god he had some angels watching him but we need to get that guy off the street,” Neil Hendrix said. “He needs to be locked up.”

The St. Joseph Police Department could not be reached for comment.

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Temperatures should be back down in the 80s by early next week with a chance of rain Sunday as a strong cold front pushes through. This will help bring less humid air and relief from the heat into the region. Mostly sunny skies and near average temperatures are expected through next week.
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