Heartless hit-and-run leaves wheelchair-bound teen seriously injured

Jonathan Forero, who has brittle bone disease, was thrown three metres in collision and will be in Surrey Memorial Hospital for weeks.

Jonathan Forero

The car smashed into his motorized wheelchair, throwing his frail body more than three metres, breaking both his legs and a shoulder.

The vehicle then swerved, picked up speed, and took off.

Jonathan Forero, 19, suffered multiple injuries in the collision, which occurred Tuesday night in North Surrey.

Forero has endured brittle bone disease all his life, a genetic disorder that makes his bones extremely fragile and susceptible to breakage.

He has broken bones just by walking, or getting hit by an object.

Forero has been confined to a wheelchair for four years after being hit by a car at near King George SkyTrain station four years ago. He had just managed to begin walking short distances around the house before this latest collision happened.

Forero’s newest injuries bring the total number of broken bones he’s suffered in his life to 33, Forero told The Leader Wednesday from Surrey Memorial Hospital, where it’s expected he will remain for a couple of weeks.

The collision occurred on Nov. 5, just before 6 p.m., when he and his girlfriend were travelling from Surrey Central SkyTrain Station on their way to her house.

They were heading down 95A Avenue near 133 Street. Forero had to use the road, as there wasn’t a sidewalk.

He remembers being tight to the side of the road, and hearing a car come up behind him.

“I didn’t think anything was going to happen, because I had so much space (for the car to pass). I was right by the edge of the street,” Forero said.

He wasn’t expecting what followed.

“I felt a big hit… I hit the ground, and I wasn’t unconscious, but I couldn’t move,” he said.

His shock of being hit was soon followed by amazement at the sound of the car screaming away.

“I was actually really surprised, I thought the person was going to be a little more… I don’t know.”

WitnessCpl. Bert Paquetes told police the vehicle swerved after hitting Forero, then sped down to 132 Street and took off in an unknown direction.

Friends say Forero, a Kwantlen Park Secondary graduate, has had a rough go of it, coping with the painful disease and being raised by a single dad for the last few years.

“That kid has been through a hell of a life,” said a former teacher who spoke on the condition that his name not be used. “He’s got a really positive attitude, and that conveys to other people.”

Despite having spent months in hospital during his school years, he still completed high school, the teacher noted.

Forero says he holds no ill will toward the driver.

“I just want him to take responsibility for what he did,” he said. “Because it’s not fair that he hits someone in a wheelchair and just goes.”

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said cases like these are extremely troubling.

“Any case of hit-and-run is upsetting,” Paquet said. “But when you’re talking about someone in a wheelchair, it lacks basic humanity.”

Police are looking for a small, dark purple, import sedan, that will have damage on the front passenger’s side.

“Our first appeal is always to the driver to do the right thing – it’s never too late to make a wrong right,” Paquet said. “However, if that doesn’t happen, our second appeal is to all potential witnesses not only to the accident, but anyone who would know someone with a vehicle matching that (description).”

Witnesses can call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

 

 

 

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