8-Year-Old Hit by Car Sparks Conversation About Speed - WSET.com - ABC13

8-Year-Old Hit by Car Sparks Conversation About Speed

Haywood Payne Recovers Haywood Payne Recovers

Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg cab driver is behind bars after police say he was involved in this weekend's hit and run that sent an 8-year-old to the hospital.

Police say George Martin Thomas hit the child while driving his cab on Pierce Street. They say a fellow cab driver in front of him switched cabs to help cover it up. Thomas is charged with hit and run and driving as a habitual offender. John Smith is charged with obstruction of justice. 

Neighbors say speed is the biggest problem in the area. Now that summer's here, and kids are out, they want people to slow down.

"I was riding my bike down the street. I didn't see him and he didn't see me and he kept on going and he hit me," said victim Haywood Payne.

Payne is recovering at home after a scary collision Saturday.

"I heard the noise and I looked out my window and saw the cab pull over," said his aunt Madalina Taylor.

"The vehicle hit Haywood here, and drug his bike underneath the car all the way to the new asphalt," said neighbor Shaun Spencer-Hester.

"From the break in his leg. It had broke though the skin," said Taylor.

"He was in shock. He was screaming. He wanted to get up but we of course couldn't let him get up," said Spencer-Hester.

Neighbors say people drive too fast down these residential streets.

"People you need to slow down. There are kids out here playing," said Spencer-Hester.

They also want to see more road signs.

"There are no stop signs from 12th street to 15th street. From Pierce Street all the way to Diamond Hill church," said Spencer-Hester.

The city is now involved. Officials say the Traffic Engineer is evaluating the area to see if speed is a problem. Meanwhile, Haywood's mom is hoping her little man won't need surgery.

"The bone has shifted, so he has to go back next week," said mom Tonya Arnold.

But if you ask Haywood, he is doing just fine.

"I wanted to say that, don't worry about me because I'm going to be okay and thankful that he turned himself in," said Payne.

Lynchburg Police say Thomas turned himself in on Monday. Allied Cabs, the company the two men work for, did not return our calls.

Neighbors say they are concerned about Midtown Connector construction. That will take place on Kemper Street just two blocks away from Pierce St., and may drive more traffic to the area.

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