Boy with autism, epilepsy struck by hit-and-run driver in Bloomington

Rob McMillan Image
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Boy with autism, epilepsy struck by hit-and-run driver in Bloomington
An Argentine boy with autism and epilepsy was struck by a hit-and-run driver outside a Bloomington motel while in Southern California for better medical treatment.

BLOOMINGTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Rocco Pezza, 11, was hospitalized with head and leg injuries after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Bloomington area of San Bernardino County.

"It's not fair that someone can hit a child like that and just take off," said Carla Buis, the victim's mother.

Buis grew up in Fontana but met her husband in Argentina, where they raised their son. The family was visiting Southern California to find better medical treatment for Rocco, who has epilepsy and autism.

They were staying at the Sierra Crossing Motel in the 18100 block of Valley Boulevard in Bloomington when Rocco suddenly ran out of their motel room.

"He has this obsession with running out, and the third time he just ran out, and I just get out to go see where he's at and I don't see him," Buis said.

She then ran out onto the street, but it was too late.

"I just saw him. He flew on the air and he hit the ground, and I picked him up and just put him on the grass, saying, 'Rocco, you're going to be OK, it's going to be OK,' but he wasn't responding," she said.

Rocco is listed in serious condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center, and Buis is very concerned about the condition of his legs.

"We're scared because he's not moving his legs. The doctors are worried. We're asking him to move his legs and he says he can't," she said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Rocco's medical costs. You can donate here:

Buis, however, says what she wants most is justice.

"All that I want is for this guy that did this to get caught. I understand if he didn't see him. It was nighttime, Rocco ran in the middle street. I understand all that, but why not stop?" she said.

Anyone with information on this case was asked to call the California Highway Patrol.