Tacoma family, police seek answers in hit-and-run of 8-year-old boy

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TACOMA, Wash.-- East 64th Street in Tacoma is pretty busy for a residential street. It's downhill all the way to Portland Avenue from L street. There are no curbs or sidewalks either -- and the front yards are pretty spacious; they're nearly perfect for kids to play on.

But it's this combination of fast cars and kids at play that led to an 8-year-old boy named Maurly Gomez being in the intensive care unit of Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.

"It's a lot of anger," the boy's mother, Candy Verenise Maldonado,  said outside of Harborview.

She's not mad at the driver who hit her son, who was chasing a soccer ball into the street at dusk on Easter Sunday. But, she's enraged that the driver sped off and didn't even stop to see if her son was OK.

"You don't just do that," she said. "You don't just leave a child lying on the ground, because he's not an animal."

Maurly is not OK, but the good news is he's getting better. He's awake now and he's taLking again. He still has a collapsed lung and he has a long road back to recovery. Machines still help him eat and breathe.

Watching an 8-year-old who's known for being active, smart and social struggle for his life has been tough for his mom and step-mom who've been taking turns at his bedside since Sunday's accident.

"He's a kid with a lot of energy," says Maldonado.

This black and white security camera photo and a few witness accounts are all Tacoma police have to go on right now. The dark car at the top is the one police would like to know more about and who was driving it on Sunday. They do think the it had after-market chrome wheel rims. Any details, no matter how small, could help the investigation.

There's no word on how long Maurly will be in intensive care -- but the family and doctors are hopeful that he'll eventually make a full recovery.

As medical and physical therapy bills continue to mount, the family has set up a GoFundMe account and they're taking it one day at a time.

"Right now we're happy because we've been getting good news," said Maldonado, "but it has been a very difficult time."


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