Wade Spees // The Post and Courier
Anya Korson, 11, and her mother, Wende Korson, talk about the incident in which the young girl was hit by a pickup truck at Folly Beach on Tuesday. The driver left the scene.
FOLLY BEACH -- Ricky Koger was watching the surfers near the Washout on Tuesday when he heard brakes squeal and saw a child's beach toys fly into the air.
The retired Charleston fire captain said everything seemingly happened in slow motion as a pickup truck struck an 11-year-old girl carrying a laundry basket full of toys across East Ashley Avenue at 4:55 p.m.
"I heard the brake and thud just in time to see the basket go up into the air," Koger said Wednesday.
He locked eyes with the driver of the pickup but turned his attention to the girl because he thought the driver was going to stop.
The driver only stopped momentarily. He drove off, stunning those who quickly hurried to Anya Korson's aid.
Bandaged and a little sore Wednesday, Anya pointed to the spot on the road where she had been hit.
She said she was crossing the street from the beach to get back to the family's rental home.
"I just walked over to the yellow line and the car came and hit me," Anya said. She apologized to the driver, telling him she was sorry. He told her he was going to turn his truck around and call 911.
"But he just up and left," she said.
Folly Beach Public Safety officers are looking for a gold Dodge Ram 1500 with a company logo on the back. Koger described the driver as a clean-cut businessman in his 40s.
Koger said there were as many as 20 people surrounding the child when his firefighter training kicked in. He called 911, handed his phone over to a witness and asked the girl questions and assured her she was going to be OK.
Koger said she was alert and knew where she was and what had happened.
"I think she was more scared than actually hurt," he said.
Anya said the reason she apologized to the driver is that she thought it might have been her fault. "I looked both ways before crossing," she said. "I did not see him."
Wende Korson, Anya's mother, said the family is visiting Folly Beach from Georgia.
Korson, a mother of seven children ranging in age from 2 years old to 16, said she had gone inside the house while Anya and her three siblings played at the beach with their father. She later heard what sounded like a dog getting hit by a car, she said. She looked outside and realized it was her daughter.
Anya was taken to Medical University Hospital, where she was treated and released. She had scrapes on her foot and her back.
Korson said she was surprised the driver failed to stop and render aid, especially after having hit a child.
"He really has no idea if she's broken or has internal injuries," Korson said. "It's a little disconcerting."
Folly Beach Public Safety Chief Dennis Brown said investigators were following up on several tips received from the public. He said the truck and the driver had not been found Wednesday night.
Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589 or David W. MacDougall at 937-5655.