A 16-year-old autistic boy from Ohio visiting his grandmother on the 1900 block of Sixth Avenue ran into the street about 8:05 p.m. Tuesday to avoid a neighbor girl's attempted hug, striking the side of a moving car, according to witnesses.
Fortunately, the boy had no serious injuries, Altoona police Sgt. John Miller said.
His well-being was in doubt, however, while he was lying on the street bleeding from the head. He was taken by ambulance to Altoona Regional Trauma Center.
The boy and the special-needs girl who tried to hug him are "boyfriend-girlfriend," said the girl's mother, Laurel Coy, holding up her fingers to represent quotation marks.
"I guess he wasn't in the mood," she said about his avoiding the hug.
The boy ran between two parked vehicles, hit the car, then spun and fell to the street, said Dylan and Jeremiah Benz, 10-year-old twins who live on the block.
The twins ran to get their mom, the driver stopped, and both their mom and the driver called 911, the twins said.
"Everybody called 911," Dylan said.
The youngster didn't say anything at first, but he cried for help about the time the twins' mom came out, the twins said.
Coy sent her daughter into their house quickly and was uncertain whether the girl realized the importance of what had happened.
Neighbors weighed in against the frequent speeding on the one-way thoroughfare and urged authorities to install more traffic lights or at least warning signs, while citing prior accidents, including at least one parked vehicle totaled.
"This is a death road," said neighbor Catherine Boob, who luckily was wrong this time.
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.