'They left me to die': Youth baseball umpire struck by hit-and-run driver

PHILADELPHIA -- A youth umpire is in the hospital with debilitating injuries after he says he was on his way to umpire a kids baseball game and was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Ed DeJesus, 60, suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone, head injuries, scrapes and bruises in the incident Saturday afternoon.

"I couldn't believe that I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything. I'm struggling to move around," said DeJesus from his hospital bed.

DeJesus said it was about 12:30 p.m. Saturday when he was crossing the street at 17th near Fitzwater. He was on his way to the Marian Anderson Recreation Center to umpire a baseball game for 10-year-olds.

Rec center leader Steve Bandura said, "We were waiting for the umpire, the umpire never showed. I called the assigner, he was calling the ump and got no answer."

Staff at the rec center had no idea DeJesus had been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

"The next thing you know is I woke up in the hospital," said DeJesus. "I don't remember anything."

It wasn't until later that DeJesus was told what happened to him.

"They left me to die. That's what they did, they left me to die," said DeJesus.

Officials say DeJesus has been umpiring at the rec center for about 10 years now.

"Ed's a great guy, he's been here for a long time," said Bandura. "His grandson played in this program as well. I can't believe that it was a hit-and-run and nobody would stop after," he added.

Already struggling with congestive heart failure, diabetes and high cholesterol, now DeJesus has to deal with severe pain from the injuries he suffered.

When asked what he would say to the driver who hit him, DeJesus said, "Why? Why did you leave? Why did you leave me to die?"

Police have few leads in the investigation. They're hoping someone may have information that could lead them to the hit-and-run driver.

If you have any information you're asked to call 215-686-TIPS.
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