Pub to hold fundraiser for hit-and-run victim

August 10, 2011 12:28:50 PM PDT
San Francisco restaurant Lefty O'Doul's will hold a fundraiser today for the family of Ryan White, the 9-year-old boy who was critically injured in a hit-and-run accident in the city's South of Market neighborhood on Thursday.

Ryan's cousin Woody Hooten and other family members will be at the restaurant, located at 333 Geary St., starting at noon, and half the proceeds from lunch today will be donated to the family to help with Ryan's medical costs.

As of Tuesday, the boy's condition had improved, and he was upgraded from critical to serious condition, a San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman said.

Ryan was visiting from Philadelphia and had just come from a San Francisco Giants game against the Philadelphia Phillies when he was struck by a white pickup truck while crossing Mission Street at around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was walking ahead of a family member when the truck hit him as it was turning left onto Mission Street from northbound New Montgomery Street. A woman was also hit, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

The driver, Andrew Vargas, 21, of Hayward, did not stop after striking the pedestrians and continued west on Mission Street, striking several parked and moving cars, police said.

Vargas was arrested in Hayward at around 11:30 p.m. after police there spotted his truck.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office charged Vargas with two counts of felony drunken driving causing injury and one felony count of hit-and-run causing injury.

Ryan suffered a traumatic brain injury and fractures to his pelvis, left leg and ankle, as well as a laceration to his liver, according to a statement that his family released Tuesday.

"Ryan has a long road ahead of him, but he is young and strong and we expect steady improvement, especially when he can engage in rehabilitation full time," the statement read.

The family also expressed their gratitude for the support they have received from the city's police and fire departments, the mayor, and the Giants and Phillies organizations.

"We've been deeply touched by the outpouring of support by people we don't even know, local residents and merchants, such as Lefty O'Douls, that are stepping forward to help Ryan," the family said.

Cards and letters for Ryan may be sent to: Ryan White, P.O. Box 542, San Francisco, CA 94104.


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