Nine-year-old Fred Tyler Capers was trying to walk across Ladson Road to visit friends Wednesday night when a car hit him and kept on going, state troopers and relatives said.
Troopers were still looking for the hit-and-run driver the Thursday. They think the driver was in dark vehicle that sustained front-end damage, though witnesses gave differing accounts of the vehicle's make and model.
The boy lived about a block from the accident scene, where his extended family gathered the next morning. They had spent a sleepless night grappling with profound sorrow and anger.
"Look at my beautiful son," Freddie Capers said, holding a picture of the youngest of his five children. "I'm going to miss this boy so much."
The youngster whom most knew as Tyler was an A and B student at Oakbrook Elementary School. He loved basketball and riding his bicycle. Capers said he had just enrolled him in the Sertoma Summerville youth football program.
Tyler had lived in the Charleston area his whole life, and in the Fairlawn subdivision for about two years, his father said. The family also has strong ties to New York City.
The accident happened at 10:13 p.m. where Lantern Drive, a residential street, meets Ladson Road, a 45-mph highway. There are no crosswalks in the area.
Witnesses told relatives that Tyler had been with a group of friends headed toward Tranquil Estates on the opposite side of Ladson Road, said Michael Capers, Tyler's uncle. The car that hit him never stopped.
Dorchester County Chief Deputy Coroner Perida Moultrie said the boy was taken to nearby Summerville Medical Center where he died at 10:49 p.m. He had cuts, bruises and road rash all over his body, Moultrie said. An autopsy was scheduled today.
The Highway Patrol received conflicting accounts. Some bystanders described a dark GMC Jimmy sport utility vehicle leaving the scene, others a dark Dodge Neon sedan. Troopers want the public to call in tips about either type of vehicle with front-end damage.
Lance Cpl. Bob Beres said the vehicle was headed toward Dorchester Road.
The family wanted the driver to come forward: man, woman, young or old.
"This person who killed my son doesn't know how much he's changed the lives of everybody," Capers said. "My son Tyler, he was a great kid."
The Highway Patrol is asking that person to turn himself or herself in by calling troopers at 953-6010 or going in person to the Troop Office at 8740 North Park Blvd., North Charleston, near Rivers Avenue and Otranto Road. Anyone who can offer tips about a either a dark Dodge Neon sedan or a GMC Jimmy with front-end damage is asked to call troopers at the same number or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.