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Police make arrest in South Bend hit-and-run

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Police have arrested the driver allegedly involved in a hit-and-run that injured a boy in South Bend Tuesday afternoon. Mishawaka police arrested Robert Brandt Bachtel on preliminary charges of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in bodily injury.

“He was lying on the ground and I was trying to get him to make some noise so he could breathe.” “We just kept calling his name and ‘wake up baby, wake up’,” said Michelle Taylor, an eyewitness to a hit-and-run crime.

A mother and potential life-saver, Taylor says she’s never seen anything like what happened Tuesday evening. Taylor was one of the first to jump into action after she saw a child hit by a car right in front of her as she was picking her kids up on Indiana Avenue in South Bend.

“We had just gotten in the truck to leave to go home and there was a small child that jumped out of their vehicle and ran around in front of the vehicle and I jumped out of my truck. I saw a car coming fast behind us so I tried to get to the child to stop him from getting hit,” said Taylor.

But it was too late. The 2-year-old boy had been hit by a gray Pontiac Grand Prix driving past them. Both F.A.C.T. Team investigators and Taylor tell me that driver didn’t stick around.

“He got out of his car, walked to the back of his vehicle, saw the baby and I told everyone call the police, don’t let the driver leave and he left,” said Taylor.

The boy’s uncle got the phone call seconds after it happened and found his sister distraught.

“By the time we made it here, the ambulance took him away. She was passing out and we were all trying to hold her up,” said Michael Royster, the uncle of the child hit.

Taylor says she wishes drivers were more careful on this particular stretch of road and that she hopes the person who did it will come forward.

“I’m praying that he’ll be ok. Something needs to change. The speeding here is horrible and somebody else’s child is going to get hurt. This baby did not deserve what happened to him and whoever this is… whoever you are, please turn yourself in. Because you’re only hurting yourself. I saw everything that happened... I know you were in shock, I know you saw what happened. Please turn yourself in,” said Taylor.

Police tell ABC 57 News they don’t believe speed to be a factor in this crash, but neighbors say it’s still a concern there.

Police say they have a person of interest at this time but aren’t releasing any names as they continue to investigate that.

The family says the 2-year-old boy is doing ok besides a really bad cut on the head and some bruises. If you have any information, be sure to call police right away.


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