CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — A serious crash has sent a family into a frenzy while they try to keep their loved one alive.
"I got his picture. he was all purple, stitched up, out of it. Swollen with tubes and it was just heartbreaking," Dale Lamoreaux said.
He says his son, Levi Lamoreaux, is the one who was hit by a man a few weeks ago.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said Monday its deputies arrested Kristopher Hite, a 35-year-old from Homosassa, of attempted vehicular homicide and child neglect. He's accused of arguing with motorcyclist Levi Lamoreaux, 36, and causing a crash in which the rider flipped "violently" throughout the air
Deputies say the road rage incident began on July 28 with Hite and the motorcyclist yelling at each other at a stoplight. According to witnesses, Hite and Levi Lamoreaux sped northward.
When Hite saw the motorcyclist approach from behind, he swerved his SUV into the rider's lane and hit him, which caused "both the victim and motorcycle to flip repeatedly in the air violently" in the area of North Suncoast Boulevard, the sheriff's office said.
Levi Lamoreaux was said to have been put on life support and in critical condition. Hite's girlfriend and young son were in the SUV, deputies said.
"This incident was irresponsible and preventable," Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement. "Allowing a negative interaction with another motorist to escalate to road rage puts everyone in jeopardy and demonstrates a reckless disregard for other motorists and passengers."
The family of Levi Lamoreaux said he's bruised and cut up with burns as he's still on life support, but showing signs of improvement after being given a 2% chance to live.
The road to recovery will be long considering he has a fractured clavicle and a traumatic brain injury, including bleeding on the brain, his family says. In addition, his neck and head had to be fused back together due to a fracture.
Levi Lamoreaux's eyes were swollen shut for a period of time, but some of the swelling has gone down to where he can open them some, his family says.
Looking forward to Levi Lamoreaux's recovery, his family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with his medical costs and future costs down the road as he does not have medical insurance.
Hite is being held on a $15,000 bond for attempted vehicular homicide and a $2,000 bond for child neglect.