TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The search continues for the driver who hit a man in a wheelchair and took off in the Town of Tonawanda Friday evening.
Police have identified the victim as 56-year-old Kevin Sheridan. He’s at ECMC recovering from head and chest injuries.
Sheridan lives in Buffalo’s Riverside neighborhood, right around the corner from the city limit at Vulcan Street. That’s where police say he was sideswiped, before the driver responsible took off. His neighbor and friend, Darren Van Every is also in a wheelchair, and says right now, he doesn’t even want to ride by the crash site.
“It could be any of us,” Van Every said. “It could happen any time. For the guy to leave him there for dead, it’s bad.
“I did call him Friday night around 9:30. I normally don’t call him that late, but I don’t know. I just called him. He didn’t answer.”
By that time, the crash had already happened. Police say Sheridan had to be sedated, but he did eventually regain consciousness. That gave Van Every a chance to speak with him.
“He told me over the phone, he said he doesn’t remember what happened,” Van Every explained. “Next thing I know, I’m in the hospital. That’s all he told me.”
That was unfortunate news for investigators, who visited Sheridan in his hospital room Monday looking for leads. They say no new information came from that. They’re also checking in with local businesses for security footage.
“At the moment, we’re narrowing down possibilities of what type of vehicle it was, or who may have been operating it,” said Town of Tonawanda Police Lieutenant Thomas Haynes.
Van Every said Sheridan has a prosthetic leg, and has been in a wheelchair for several years now. He often rides it around the neighborhood.
“He’s been going through some troubles,” Van Every said. “I’ve been trying to help him. He is going through a lot of pain because he got his leg cut off.”
Van Every, who also rides his motorized wheelchair around the neighborhood, notes it could have happened to him.
“It’s unbelievable that somebody can do that,” he said, “Those chairs are easily 500 pounds. The batteries in these chairs are heavy. When you hit it, you’re going to know you hit something.”
Van Every is trying to get people to sign cards to be sent to Sheridan at ECMC, in hopes that will brighten his spirits.
Meanwhile, police are looking for as much help as they can get. Right now, they say there are no known witnesses. But, they are asking for anyone with information to call them at (716) 879-6613.