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Long Island Teen Killed In Hit-And-Run Saved Sister By Throwing Himself In Front Of SUV
Teen Tyler Phillips died in a hit-and-run crash on Long Island, but only after he pushed his sister out of the way first.
A Long Island teenager fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver pushed his sister out of the vehicle’s path at the moment of the deadly collision, according to his family.
Tyler Phillips, 13, was struck and killed while walking in a westbound bike lane on Granny Road in Coram, New York on Wednesday, according to police and the teen’s family, News 12 Long Island reported. The siblings, who were hit from behind, were walking home from Gordon Heights Children's Park at the time of the fatal crash. An SUV authorities suspect was involved in the crash fled the scene.
Phillips was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition. He was placed on life support but died hours after the collision. The teen’s sister also received medical treatment for a sprained arm, WABC reported.
"The car hit her first and I guess he went to jump and grab her, and it just took him," family friend Steffani Campbell told New York’s WNBC. "She said she watched him fly to the middle of the street and she called an ambulance. They told her to give him CPR and that was it."
The teenager’s family and friends, who are reeling from his sudden death, said Phillips shoved his sibling out of the way upon the moment of impact.
"He saved my life," Phillips’ sister told New York’s WNBC.
According to investigators, the suspected vehicle that struck Phillips and fled the scene was a dark-colored 2005 to 2009 Chevrolet Equinox. Authorities suspect the front passenger mirror, a side view front passenger mirror and passenger headlight are damaged. The vehicle reportedly had no lights on at the time of the crash, despite it being dark at the time.
Phillips celebrated his 13th birthday the day before he was killed.
"He was a hero, he will always be a hero," Tyler Phillips’ mother, Desira Mack, also told WNBC.
Mack added that her son’s skull and vertebrae were separated in the deadly collision.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help raise funds to cover funeral expenses for the 13-year-old. Phillips attended William Paca Middle School, according to WNBC.
As of Friday, authorities hadn’t apprehended any suspects in connection to the fatal hit-and-run. A spokesperson for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Friday afternoon.
A $5,000 cash reward has been offered for any information leading to an arrest of the hit-and-run suspect driver. Authorities are seeking public tips related to the incident, which can be made by calling 1-800-220-TIPS.