Jan 1, 2014 10:42 PM by Janine Reyes
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Hit and run accidents reached such epidemic numbers here in the Coastal Bend that it prompted State Rep. Abel Herrero, R-Texas, to file legislation last year to increase prison time for people convicted of the crime.
But, the legislation came too late to help Corpus Christi teenager Christian Carrillo, who was hit and left on a street in March. He nearly died that night, but he's since made an amazing recovery.
We checked in with the teen today to find out his plans for 2014 - a year he could have never seen.
Carrillo is learning to read all over again.
That, along with a daily workout, are part of his road to recovery after a hit and run driver almost killed him last March.
There's not much he remembers from the night that would forever change his life.
"I was texting my girlfriend, I was wearing a black hoodie, he hit me from the back, and I woke up in the hospital," said Carrillo.
Police later determined Eric Acevedo is the driver who hit him. Officers arrested him March 13th, and charged him with failure to stop and render aid after hitting carrillo. Acevedo has not gone to trial on any charges yet.
Christian had so many bad injuries, doctors initially told his mom that he might not make it.
But, after weeks of treatment, recovery, family support and a whole lot of prayer, Christian began making miraculous strides; first in April, using his hands to count. Then in May, beginning to walk on his own. By June, he returned to work.
He turned 18 in July, celebrating a birthday that might have never come after the hit and run.
He still suffers from his injuries in the crash, Christian broke his back and neck.
"At night, I will just hear beeping in my head, because, my head split in two," Carrillo told us.
But, Christian puts all that aside to put a smile on his face, and persevere.
This year, Christian has big goals, he wants to get in shape and find a job, among other things. "Gardening, I love gardening, I like to write poetry, I love to read, I can read better now," he told us.
He will likely face the driver who hit him in court later this year. Christian says he used to be angry at him, but not anymore. "Reading the Bible has helped me out tremendously," the teen explained.
He does hope to see justice and to continue on his path to recovery.
"Go to school, go to college, and make my life to where I can help other people as well," Christian said of his plans down the road. Christian says his long-term goal is to become an occupational therapist so that he can help others the way so many people have helped him.