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Father makes plea for hit-and-run suspect

Hit & Run Plea

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A Palm Desert High School student is still fighting for his life after a hit-and-run crash Monday night. Now, his father is begging for the public's help in finding the person responsible.

John Virgin, Grant's father, says, "Lying awake at night with my hands on his, looking at the injuries, it gives me nightmares."

Grant Virgin is just 16 years-old, and his family is praying he sees his 17th birthday.

John Virgin says, "Every step he made was a miracle, and today when we are taking about prognosis, death is one of them. So every single day is going to require more miracles and more miracles, before we can bring him home."

Grant Virgin was walking down Deep Canyon Road just north of Fred Waring Canyon Monday night, his family believes, to a friends house -- a house he never made it too.  Sheriff deputies say Grant was hit by a white compact sedan.

Capt. Kevin Vest, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, says, "Witnesses saw the driver pull over, stop, get out of her vehicle, look at the front of her vehicle, look back toward the roadway where Grant was laying in the roadway, and then re-enter the car and flee the scene."

John Virgin says, "No idea how a woman could hit a young man and leave him lying in the street."

Grant's father and brother came up on the accident scene on their way to the store.

"I've never been hit by a truck, I'd rather been hit by a truck," said Virgin.

Grant injuries were so severe, most people with them don't make it to the hospital.

"If it happened to me, I'm on the side, dead. He just happens to be a really strong kid," said Virgin.

Once the teen arrived at the Desert Regional Medical Center, doctors feared the worst.

Virgin says, "There was nothing they could do. We thought we lost a son."

A hospital in Los Angeles offered another option: a cutting-edge procedure that could save his life.

"There is hope," said Virgin.

Grant is now in stable condition, but he is still in a coma.

But Virgin says, "he's in there" and responsive. The teenager acknowledged his girlfriend's name.

Virgin says, "He grabbed her hand and put it on his chest. I don't dance, but I did right then."

Grand isn't out of the woods just yet.

"The brain injury is the issue, and we don't know -- its not a predictable outcome," said Virgin.

Now, police and his family are asking for the public's help.

"Somebody has a car in this area that looks like it ran into a post or a deer or something like that," Virgin said.

Witnesses say the driver was last seen heading north on Deep Canyon Road. Police describe her as a Hispanic woman, 30 years-old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, with shoulder length black hair and driving a white compact car.

Virgin says, "You are going to have to look at yourself in the mirror every single day and know hat you changed somebody's life best to come forward and say, 'How do i make it right?'"

Police believe the driver lives or works in the Palm Desert area. If you have any information on this crash call Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341-STOP (7867). Tipsters can remain anonymous and could be eligible for up to a 1,000 dollar cash $1,000 reward.

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