Phila. boy hit by truck in SF upgraded, driver charged

9-year-old Ryan White at Alcatraz Island on Thursday, August 4, 2011. He was injured later that day.

August 9, 2011 3:46:36 PM PDT
A young Philadelphia Phillies fan hospitalized in San Francisco after being struck by a suspected drunk driver has been upgraded from critical to serious condition, officials announced Tuesday.

9-year-old Ryan White of Philadelphia was hit by a pickup truck as he and his family walked in a crosswalk a few blocks from AT&T Park after a game between the Phillies and the San Francisco Giants last Thursday night.

Police say after Ryan was hit, the driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Alan Vargas, collided with several parked cars.

A 58-year-old California woman was also hit by the truck, but was not seriously injured.

About an hour after Ryan was hit, the 21-one-year-old Vargas was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and felony hit-and-run.

Vargas was charged Tuesday with two counts of felony drunk driving with injury and one felony count of hit-and-run with injury.

Vargas posted bail in the amount of $65,000 and is currently out of custody. He is scheduled to next appear in court on Thursday.

Meanwhile, White remains at the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

The boy's parents, Ken and Roseanne White, released a statement thanking the public for their thoughts and support.

"We would like to express our deep gratitude to the people of San Francisco and the Bay Area for the outpouring of support and sympathy for our son Ryan," the statement reads.

"We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support by people we don't even know, local residents and merchants."

According to the statement, Ryan suffered fractures to his pelvis, left leg, and ankle, as well as a laceration to his liver and a traumatic brain injury.

They say he is able to follow some basic commands.

"In a matter of days he has gone from giving us a thumbs up or thumbs down response to speaking in sentences for the first time this morning. 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 says they are looking for the best way to continue Ryan's recovery back in the Philadelphia area.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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