RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A young man is still in intensive care after being left for dead in a hit and run incident last Thursday in south Reno. It happened at the intersection of Wilbur May Parkway and Double Diamond Parkway.
25-year-old Gabriel Kennedy has yet to regain consciousness. He also lost a limb, has several broken bones and bleeding in the brain. To his family’s disbelief, the person who hit him remains at-large.
Kennedy’s family can barely recognize him as he recovers at Renown Regional Medical Center. The fun-loving goofball, is now hooked up to machines and unresponsive.
"He loves people. He's fun to interact with. He likes to entertain people," said his brother, Theo Kennedy, and his mother, Solea Kennedy.
"And so seeing him there, lifeless, and on the respirator is unbelievably hard," she said.
Kennedy has been at the hospital since the accident, and every day, Solea has one question on her mind. "I want to know why. Why they would drive off and leave somebody broken like that?"
So broken, in fact, he'll have physical limitations for the rest of his life. Doctors amputated his lower right leg, and that’s not the worst of it.
"They don't know the extent of his brain damage," said Solea.
They fear how Gabe, an active snowboarder and skateboarder, would react to losing a leg. The night his life changed forever, he was enjoying a night out skate boarding with friends. "We just heard the loudest sound and I looked over my shoulder and saw Gabe flying through the air, and a car just taking off," said Ryan Schultz, Gabe’s best friend. "He flew about 180 feet."
Schultz said a silver colored S.U.V. plowed through the crosswalk they were in. It's changed his life, as well. "It’s amazing how fast something like this can really put things in perspective. You know, on what's important. People, family, friends, everything else is just material."
Family and friends say it has been difficult to heal without closure. "That person is still out there. Obviously, we can't undo the damage," said Solea. "But if somebody had the guts to come forward and say, 'I did this and I want to be responsible for it,' That kind of bravery would help us begin to heal."
Until the driver is found, they continue to focus on the positive. "We just tell him that we love him. That we're there," said Solea. "That we know he's going to be okay because he's still here. So that's a miracle in itself."
If anyone has any information to help find the person who hit Gabe, they are urged to call Secret Witness at 322-4900. All tips remain anonymous.
The Kennedy’s have also set up a fund for Gabe’s medical bills and a prosthetic leg. You can donate on GoFundMe at this link