Palm Desert teen critically injured in hit-and-run makes progress

Neighbors post 'slow down' signs to make drivers aware

POSTED: 11:07 PM PDT Oct 04, 2012    UPDATED: 11:30 PM PDT Oct 04, 2012 
PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Keeping friends and family updated through Facebook, JJ Virgin posted messages and photos showing her 16-year-old son's recovery this week .

"If you look on Facebook it's like, 'wow he looks great.' In reality I've got a son who's got three brain bleeds," said Virgin.

Grant Virgin, still hospitalized in Los Angeles, is making progress after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Sept 10. The teen was walking home along Deep Canyon Road when a woman hit him with her car, stopped to check the damage to her car and then drove off.

"All of the odds were for him not to survive," said his mother.

Now, neighbors are stepping in to help by posting signs around the area that read 'Please slow down, we love our children.'

"I feel sorry for him. So I put them around my house so drivers can see them," said neighbor Joe Barajas.

Neighbor Maria Richards says she hopes their message will be clear and visible to drivers.

"Awareness all-around that there are kids playing, people walking their dogs, we are out enjoying our desert lifestyle," said Richards.

While neighbors hope the signs will bring awareness, they're a painful reminder to the Virgin family who is left without answers.

"I don't know what it's going to take to exhaust everything to find this person. I'm not vindictive but you've got to have consequences. I understand accidents happen, but Jesus you don't leave a child for dead in the road," said Virgin.

Grant is now out of intensive care. He's responding to his name and eating small amounts of pudding on his own. His mother says it's painful to see her child like in his current state, but she's blown away by how far he's come.

"I look at him and say he's not paralyzed and not in a coma, (he's) making everyday progress. Amazing, considering he was in a coma and we were told he was going to die," she said.

Doctors told the family it could take about three years for Grant to make a full recovery.

The driver in the incident is still on the run. She's described as a Hispanic woman, around 30 years old, 5'6, 150 pounds and with shoulder-length black hair. The woman was last seen driving a white compact car.

If you have any information, call Valley Crimestoppers at (760) 341-STOP. You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.