A 19-year-old Roxana man is in serious but stable condition after he was struck by a car in a parking garage in downtown St. Louis.
Justin Johansen was on the eighth floor of a parking garage at 604 Pine Street in St. Louis on Saturday evening when a car swung around the corner and struck him, St. Louis police say. The driver of the vehicle, a black 2005 Chrysler 300 with Illinois license plates, fled the scene, leaving his car behind. Police identified the suspect is a 44-year-old white man, who is now listed as wanted.
Witnesses said Johansen stepped off his skateboard and “continued to run into the traffic way when he was struck,” said Schron Jackson, a St. Louis Police Department spokesperson.
Johansen was with three other men in the parking garage, none of whom were hurt, said Jeska Wyatt, the mother of one of the boys who Johansen is staying with. The car smacked Johansen on the right side of his body and ran over his feet. He fell to the ground and his head smacked against the pavement, causing a temporal fracture on his skull, and possible brain trauma from bleeding and swelling.
Wyatt said the suspect got out of the car after he hit Johansen, looked at him and then fled on foot.
Johansen was doing better Monday, Wyatt said, and should be moved out of the intensive care unit soon. However, they are unsure how much brain damage he may have. Because of the swelling from when he was hit, Johansen has not been able to take any pain medicine except for Tylenol. Even so, he has been acting like he’s “doped up with a whole bunch of morphine.”
“He has a long road ahead of him,” Wyatt said. “He has zero medical insurance ... and is super confused; his eyes are rolling in the back of his head.”
Friends and family aren’t looking for an arrest, or even restitution from the hit-and-run, Wyatt said.
“What would make me happy is if he would speak up, say that he freaked out and had never seen anything so horrible (and ran),” Wyatt said. “I just want him to take responsibility. As parents, that’s what we should teach our children to do, to take responsibility for their actions.”