A MOTHER has a simple question for the hit and run driver who mowed down her 14-year-old son: How could you leave him badly injured by the side of the road?
Army Cadet Lance Corporal Ben Heneghan suffered serious leg injuries and a gashed head when he was thrown into the air by the van and flung on to the pavement.
Ben had gone to fetch a ball from Huddersfield Road in Thongsbridge when he was struck by the van.
A motorist saw what happened and drove slowly in front of the van in a vain bid to make the driver stop.
But the offender turned sharp left up Thong Lane next to the Royal Oak pub and vanished into Netherthong village.
Ben's mother, Karen, said: "I just can't understand why the driver left Ben badly hurt by the roadside. I just don't know how anyone could do that."
Ben was hit by the van as a group of Army Cadets were walking to play football at 7.45pm on Thursday, June 3.
Cadets immediately rushed back to the nearby Thongsbridge Army Cadets headquarters and alerted Ben's 18-year-old brother, Daniel, who is a corporal with the cadets.
He ran to the scene and phoned his mother who rushed over from the family's Netherton home to find an ambulance crew tending Ben.
She said: "As soon as I saw the look on Daniel's face I knew it was serious.
"I went into shock and could hardly look at Ben, but a woman who had stopped to help was absolutely superb and helped me."
Karen went with Ben in the ambulance to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
She said: "Ben was in deep shock and at first it was thought his injuries were not too serious.
"He had suffered three gashes on his head and gravel rash along with injuries to his feet.
"But when we arrived in the casualty department we quickly discovered the injuries were far more severe."
X-rays showed that ligaments in his left foot had been severed and a bone in the back of his right leg was broken. Both feet were badly swollen.
Ben underwent 90 minutes of surgery to put screws in the ankle to support his foot and is now in pot up to both knees.
He also had five stitches in the head injuries.
Ben, a pupil at Newsome High School, spent five days in hospital and is now recovering at home.
Pc Dave Briggs, of Huddersfield traffic police, said: "The vehicle involved is an old-style white Ford Transit van with a high extended roof and will have a damaged front nearside light cluster and bonnet."
Anyone who has seen the van or been asked to repair it should ring Pc Briggs on 01484 436847 or Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111.