A CALLOUS hit and run driver left 10-year-old Sean O’Brien for dead.
Now the hunt is on to track the motoring menace down.
Police say there are several clues to his identity and Sean’s family are sure someone knows who he is.
Sean was mown down by the green Mark 4 Vauxhall Astra on Gledholt Road next to Greenhead Park at 4.30pm last Saturday afternoon.
The youngster was flung more than 70ft through the air by the force of the impact and ended up beneath a parked car with horrendous facial injuries.
But the driver not only failed to stop, witnesses say he carried straight on and then went through some No Entry signs at the top of the road next to the Junction pub in his desperation to escape the scene.
Police believe the car will have a dent to the front or the bonnet and possibly the driver’s side. The windscreen may even be smashed.
An Asian man aged about 30 was at the wheel.
Sean’s dad, 36-year-old company director Gary O’Brien, said: “A car is a large, distinctive item and someone will know a man matching this description with a green Vauxhall Astra.
“That man may no longer be driving that car. It could be hidden. Does anyone know someone who had a green Vauxhall Astra the week before last and is not using it now?
“Has it been hidden or has it been repaired? We would urge anyone with any information to come forward and tell the police.’’
Gary and his wife, Pauline, live in Marsh and have two other sons, 12-year-old Carl – a pupil at Salendine Nook High School – and 19-year-old Daniel who is studying a degree in sports science and PE at Sheffield Hallam University.
Last Saturday was a memorable day for Sean – and that was before the near tragedy.
The young striker had notched up six goals for West End under 10s A team at Salendine Nook and then had picked up a new puppy with his family.
But within half-an-hour of getting back home disaster struck.
Once the six-week-old sheepdog pup had settled down Sean, Carl and Gary’s nine-year-old godson, Lewis Bojar, set off to play football in nearby Greenhead Park.
But as they walked along Quarry Road and just about reached Gledholt Road Sean dropped the football which accidentally caught Lewis on the foot.
The ball rolled into Gledholt Road and when Sean went to retrieve it he was hit by the car and flung through the air.
He had suffered severe facial injuries along with massive grazing all over his body.
People rushed to help and tried to restrain the plucky but disorientated youngster as he tried to get up to prevent any further potential damage if he had suffered neck, spine or back injuries.
Lewis rushed back to Sean’s home to alert Gary and Pauline.
Gary said: “Lewis was hysterical and was shouting that Sean had been knocked down.’’
Pauline immediately set off to the scene.
She said: “Our back garden fence is more than 5ft high, but apparently I cleared it in my rush to get to Sean. It must have been the adrenalin.’’
Both parents comforted Sean until paramedics arrived a short time later.
Sean never lost consciousness and was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with his parents at his side in the ambulance.
“The treatment he was given was magnificent and we can’t praise both the paramedics and hospital staff highly enough,’’ said Gary. “The paramedics told us everything they were doing to Sean and when we reached the casualty department there was a full medical team waiting for him.
“They got to work straight away and again one member of staff talked us through every procedure they were doing.’’
Sean was taken to X-ray and then for an ultrasound scan and finally a brain scan before yet more X-rays.
Both his eye sockets are broken along with the bridge of his nose and bones above his eyes.
At first one side of his face swelled up to double its usual size.
“We couldn’t even recognise him at first,’’ said Gary. “It was horrible and his right eye was totally closed for several days. But we realise it could have been worse. Someone up there was watching over Sean that day.’’
Doctors are waiting to see how the broken bones knit together before deciding if Sean needs facial constructive surgery.
Sean was allowed home from hospital late on Thursday.
But Pauline – a nursery nurse at a day nursery in Marsh – revealed: “Through all this Sean has not cried once. He’s really brave. Everyone at the scene along with family and friends have been so supportive and we want to thank them all.’’
Staff and his schoolmates at Reinwood Junior School have rallied round and Sean has received a special book full of cards made by his chums in Year Five.
Sean added: “I told my mum and dad I was tough.
“I have to be as I’m a Liverpool fan and the rest of the family support Manchester United! I’m already looking forward to getting back to playing football, but it looks like it’ll be after Christmas.’’
Although he’s very thankful for all the help and care he’s had, he won’t forgive medical staff for one thing – cutting off his beloved Liverpool soccer shirt featuring the number 8 and the name of his hero, Steven Gerrard!
Pauline said: “He lived, played, ate and even slept in that shirt!’’
Anyone with information should contact Pc Ian Harris at Huddersfield traffic police on 01484 436847 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.