SAN MARCOS (NEWS 8) – Authorities are searching for a hit and run driver who struck and seriously injured an international student in San Marcos on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old student was hit near Palomar College, where he is studying, as he was walking to his host family's house.
Just before he was hit, Keita Fukumoto, was on the phone talking to his mother who is thousands of miles away in Japan. "The last words to her were, 'I am crossing the street now,' and then nothing," said Laura Gerrick.
Laura Gerrick said she considers herself an extension of Keita's own mother. The hospital reached out to the Gerricks to inform them of Keita's accident. "It was the hospital, and they told me he had been in an accident."
According to Laura, Keita was struck by a truck as he was crossing Borden Road. Keita was thrown into the air by the collision and suffered serious injuries.
The driver fled the scene.
Keita had emergency brain surgery at Palomar Hospital. He spent much of the week in the intensive care unit in critical condition.
With his family in Japan, the Gerricks were the only ones there for him. "I tried to do all I could do in the absence of his mother," said Laura.
According to the Sheriff's Department, the pick-up truck that hit Keita is described as a dark older Toyota with damage to the front passenger side.
On Thursday, Keita's mother flew in from Japan. His condition has improved, but he remains in the ICU.
Anyone who might have seen anything or have any information that could help locate the driver of the Toyota is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department.