HERNDON, VA (WUSA9) - A teenager who was struck by a car in a hit-and-run while riding his skateboard is on a mission to help police find the person who put him in the hospital.
"Next thing I know, I'm lying on my stomach down by the sewer," said 16-year-old Trace Hollenbeck.
Bloodied, but alive, the impact left Hollenbeck with several broken bones in his face.
"Kind of freaky to think about it. I could've died,” he said.
It happened in front of a friend's house. Hollenbeck grabbed his phone and called his buddy who came running out to help and called 911 and his parents.
"All I heard was, 'Trace' and 'hospital' and we just ran," recalled Hollenbeck’s dad, Don Hollenbeck.
They think the car that hit his son was a dark-colored late model Nissan Xterra. Hollenbeck saw it coming toward him, veering into the bike lane.
"It was a black SUV, tinted windows,” he said. “Someone with a ponytail was driving."
He was hit by the vehicle's passenger-side mirror which broke off. They found it on the ground and gave it to police. Tiny pieces of it are still scattered around. Surveying the site, Don Hollenbeck's tears welled up thinking about the close call.
"Just another six inches. Some poor angel got its guts squished out squeezing in between the vehicle and my boy," he said.
It happened on Tuesday, Oct. 4, around 6:30 p.m. along Dranesville Road just south of Wiehle Avenue.
The Herndon High School sophomore was coming home from play practice riding his skateboard in the bike lane when he was hit by the SUV. Fairfax County Police said the driver did not stop and left the scene. The SUV may have damage to its right front side.
Though Hollenbeck said he forgives the driver, he wonders what the person was doing at the time and why they left the scene. He's sure the driver knew he or she hit someone.
"I don't know how someone could live with themselves after, even if they do get away. You know?” he said. “It's kind of sick."
A bicyclist who rode by moments after the incident also did not stop.
"He was on a black bike. He kind of looked like Doc from Back to the Future,” he said. “He had a black helmet and he had some weird, like old, headphones."
The family hopes the bicyclist saw something and could help identify the hit-and-run driver.
"We don't want them living under guilt. We don't want them wondering if my son lived or died,” Hollenbeck’s dad said. ‘We want them to have a clean slate."
They also hope to encourage drivers to slow down, and stay out of the bike lane.
The Hollenbeck’s have also searched through local business' surveillance video, but still have not found the suspect vehicle. Call Fairfax County Police if you have any information about the incident.