Mother calls for hit and run driver to come forward - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mother calls for hit and run driver to come forward

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May 3, 2006

Authorities still have not tracked down a hit and run driver who struck a Mitchell County teenager on a bicycle last week. 15-year-old James Rigsby is still recovering. His family is thankful he wasn't killed but they still want answers.

It's a parents worst nightmare, receiving a call that a child has been hurt. That's the call Roslyn Rigsby got last week. She's now issuing her own call for that hit and run driver to come forward so her son can get full recovery.

Like many mothers often do, she flips through the many photos of her son James throughout the years. She finds one thing in common through them all.

"He smiles all the time," says Rigsby.

It's a smile that almost faded for the 15-year old last week. He was riding his bike on GA 3 when a van struck him from behind. He was thrown into the air and landed face first on the ground. The driver kept going leaving Rigsby with many emotions and questions.

"Angry, hurt. How can someone hit anybody, much less a child and just leave them?" asks Rigsby. It's the one question she still struggles to find an answer to and so does James.

"The only question he did ask me in the hospital was 'why did they leave?'," says Rigsby. But that's something that may not be answered unless someone comes forward. Rigsby issues a plea to the driver.

Rigsby says, "Own up to what you did. Take responsibility for your action and apologize to my son for leaving him in that road." It'll now be a road to recovery for James but he may have already forgiven the person who left him on the road last week.

"He's not a child that holds grudges," says Rigsby. But he is a child that still holds on to cyclist dreams. It's his passion. "He's very serious about this cycling," says Rigsby, "he's not going to let this stand in his way."

Although his bike was destroyed on GA 3, his spirit wasn't. He's already looking at new bikes. His character inspires his mother. "If I get down in the dumps and I look at what my son went through, there's no reason I can't have a different outlook on life," says Rigsby.

She now values life and her pictures much more but still looks answers.

Rigsby thanks who she calls three angels at the scene, two teachers from Mitchell Baker High School and a neighbor who helped James. He's at home recovering from surgery. He received a deep laceration above his eye and abrasions to the left side of his face. Rigsby says he won't be able to go out in the sun for a couple of months while he heals.

If you have any information about the hit and run van call Georgia State Patrol at 229-225-4000 or the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office at 229-336-2030.

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