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'I'm trying to be strong for Phillip': Lewiston dad, son injured by hit-and-run driver

An ambulance took Phillip to Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center with a skull fracture.

LEWISTON, Idaho — A 10-year-old Lewiston boy was hit by a car that was speeding through his neighborhood while riding his bike on April 23. His dad was also hit by the car when he jumped into action to protect his son.

Phillip Spataro suffered a skull fracture from the hit-and-run and his dad got out of the hospital a few days ago. The day before his birthday, his dad fixed and tuned up his bike and they took it for a ride in the 7000 block of 8th Avenue Boulevard. The sidewalk was closed, so they rode in the street.

“I heard vehicle from a distance, picking up speed,” Phillip’s dad Chris said. “And I knew then, something bad is gonna happen. My father instinct just kicked in. I started rushing to get to my son. I started yelling out and just start getting off his bike. I knew I wasn't gonna be able to get to my son, so I know the only thing that I can do it was, you know put myself out there, hoping the driver can see us."

He said the driver did see him and slammed on the breaks, leaving skid marks behind. The car didn't stop. It knocked Chris into a parked car then he flipped into the air. When Chris got up, he saw the car drive off and his son lying on the ground.

"My greatest fear as parent really kicked in. When I saw my son laying there, not moving, not responsive," Chris said.

An ambulance took Phillip to Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center with a skull fracture. The same night, he was airlifted with his mother to Sacred Heart Children's hospital to be treated. Today, he is awake and recovering. Chris suffered a minor leg and back injury. He's stayed by his son's side every day.

"I'm trying to be strong for Phillip. He is really a strong boy. I'm very proud of him," Chris said.

Lewiston police arrested the driver about an hour-and-a half after the incident was reported. Police said 20-year-old Kheten Brown was under the influence and speeding when he hit Phillip and his dad. He faces several charges including two counts of hit-and-run and felony aggravated driving under the influence.

“Some people are calling me a hero. I'm not, just a father protecting this child," Chris said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for Phillip’s hospital bills. As of Wednesday night, it’s raised over $9,000.