MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas family is making a plea for help in finding the hit and run driver who struck a veteran of war in Iraq and left him for dead.
Eric Schultz, 28, was walking home from playing disc golf at Paschal Park in Mesquite on Saturday, November 10.
Police say Schultz was on the outside shoulder of northbound IH 635 between Bruton Rd. and New Market Rd. when he was struck by an unknown vehicle.
The driver took off. A passer by saw Schultz lying in a ditch along the side of the road and called police.
Schultz was later transported to Baylor Dallas in critical condition.
Meanwhile, his family became concerned when Schultz’s friends told them they had not heard from Schultz.
“I instantly knew something was wrong because my brother doesn’t do that. Even if he is just going to a convenient store he’s going to let somebody know that he’s there,” said his sister, Heather Scherzer Penkauskas.
When they had not heard from him for several hours, they filed a missing persons report.
Almost two days later, they discovered Schultz was in the ICU at Baylor Dallas.
“That I was the victim of a hit and run that’s all they knew,” Schultz said. “I had a broken collar bone, broken shoulder blade, broken ribs, a fractured hip. I’ve got 19 staples in my head.”
Schultz went back to the scene where he was found. The spray painted markings of where he and his belongings were found remain on the road, shoulder and nearby grass.
His family is making a plea.
“I’m hoping that someone will come forward. Maybe they saw something that they didn’t realize was important,” said Shay Pitts, Schultz’s mother. “Or maybe they saw the car that hit my son and thought maybe somebody else would call it in.”
The accident has changed Schultz’s life. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he left the military and says the accident has given him even more anxiety.
“I don’t like getting in a car. I don’t like walking anywhere. I don’t want to go anywhere anymore,” he said.
The family is hoping closure and perhaps, justice, will come soon, if someone comes forward with information about the driver who hit him.
“It’s in my every waking moment. It’s all I can think is to find this person,” Pitts said.
Schultz was wearing a black t-shirt and camouflage pants. He had a camouflage military bag with him.
If you have any information that can help, call Mesquite police.