Hit-and-run victim fights for life, tributes amass online

Jemal Lawton, who was hit by a car on Rockonia Road. Photo Contributed
Jemal Lawton, who was hit by a car on Rockonia Road. Photo Contributed Contributed

FACEBOOK was flooded with tributes for young Rockhampton man, Jemal Lawton, who last night was fighting for his life in a Brisbane Hospital.

A Rockhampton police officer yesterday confirmed Jemal was the 17-year-old struck in a cowardly hit-and-run incident in Rockonia Rd on Saturday morning.

A Royal Brisbane Hospital public affairs officer said Jemal was in a very critical condition with life-threatening injuries. It was believed he suffered head and back injuries.

Rockhampton police also confirmed they had not arrested anyone and were still looking for the driver whose car knocked the young man down near the corner of Rockonia Rd and Stack St, Koongal.

A resident, who lives near the Rockonia Rd-Stack St intersection, said she heard the screech of tyres about 2.45am on Saturday, while she was in bed.

The high-pitched screeching sound was immediately followed by a "thud" that sounded like a vehicle slamming into a pole, the resident said.

When she switched on her light and rushed out to see what the commotion was, she saw her neighbours standing near the motionless body of a man.

"We thought this fellow was a goner ... that was until someone flipped him onto his side and he started breathing again," the resident said.

Meanwhile, Jemal's family members took to social media to share their anger and prayers.

In a Facebook post, Sherylee Holt said: "It doesn't matter if he was walking in the middle of the road or jumped in front of the car, you have to be one gutless, dirty person to hit a kid/person and not call the police.

"I still hope they get caught and rot in jail ... this is to the driver: what if it was your son or daughter?"

Topics:  editors picks hit and run rockhampton crime rockhampton traffic

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