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Stanton hit-run: Autistic man severely injured, driver sought

May 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The family of a high-functioning autistic man severely injured in a hit-and-run is asking for the public's help in finding the driver.

The hit-and-run was caught on a security camera by a bus that was sitting at the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Beach Boulevard around 12 p.m. on April 23.

Jeff Bell, 24, was on his way to work and was in the process of changing buses when he was hit, according to Bell's father, Michael.

A $5,000 reward is being offered to find the suspect.

In the video, the driver of the truck is seen plowing into Bell and dragging him about 100 feet along the asphalt on Chapman Avenue.

The driver left Bell critically injured in the middle of the street. He suffered burns and abrasions to over 20 percent of his body. He also suffered a severe cut to his head that required nearly 40 staples to close it. He is still recovering in the hospital.

Bell's father spoke out Thursday. He is upset that the driver of the truck has not come forward.

"He did not see the truck. He remembers being under the truck, unfortunately," said Michael Bell. "He's angry that this happened to him, which is understandable. We're all angry. We understand that accidents happen, but making a conscious decision to drag someone 100 feet across the asphalt and drive away, without helping him, leaving him for dead, that's no accident."

The truck is described as a bright teal blue-green metallic 1993-1996 GMC single-cab pickup truck. There is a sticker on the left side back window of the cab of the truck. It is unclear what the sticker says. Authorities said the truck also has front-end damage from the collision.

There is no suspect information. It is believed that there was only one person in the truck, according to witnesses.

Anyone with information is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

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