Calgary family of teen pedestrian in hit and run speaks out: ‘Compassion, not hate’

A collision that has forever impacted a Calgary family happened just steps from their home.

Brandon Taylor, 17, was hit by a vehicle’s side mirror in what police said was a hit and run Monday evening.

Officers were called to the pedestrian collision near 16 Avenue and 46 Street N.W. just after 7 p.m.

Taylor was taken to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in life-threatening condition from the scene, which is along the urban part of the Trans Canada Highway in Montgomery.

“I can see where the accident happened from my bedroom window,” mother Kailey Naugler told Global News.

Read more: Hit and run in northwest Calgary leaves child in life-threatening condition: EMS

About to start making dinner after a run to the grocery store that evening, Naugler went out to see why emergency vehicles had assembled in her neighbourhood. Bystanders told her it was a little girl who had been hit.

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Feeling sorry for the unknown family, Naugler watched emergency responders pack up their patient for hospital.

“I walked back home, not knowing it was him. And as time went on, I realized, ‘Brandon’s never late. He’s three hours late. Something’s wrong.’”

Click to play video: 'Calgary police searching for driver after hit and run sends pedestrian to hospital'

Calgary police searching for driver after hit and run sends pedestrian to hospital

Naugler went back to the scene where police were investigating, and asked an officer if the victim was a boy with a skateboard.

“The officer confirmed his name and that’s how I found out that the ambulance I watched pick up this person and leave — that was my boy. That was my boy,” Naugler recalls in tears.

“I don’t know how long he was left there before somebody helped him.”

Read more: Trio of pedestrians hit by cars in nearby Calgary neighbourhoods on Thursday

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“I don’t understand how somebody can do that – cause that much damage to somebody and not be curious,” step-father Jason Poirier said.

“Police were telling me the vehicle that hit him, they don’t have a passenger side mirror anymore. Brandon’s face took the full hit of it and it sent him flying ten feet, and the person just kept driving.

“How do you not know from the sound of the mirror blowing up that you hit somebody?

“Why did you keep going? Why did you leave my son to die on the street?”

So far no arrests have been made, but police are searching for a light-coloured Jeep Grand Cherokee of the 2012 to 2014 model years. Investigators say the passenger side body and mirror is likely damaged.

Click to play video: 'New impaired driving charges laid as family of Calgary man killed in pedestrian crash holds vigil'

New impaired driving charges laid as family of Calgary man killed in pedestrian crash holds vigil

His parents describe Taylor as a teen who enjoyed video games, skateboarding and computer languages. He was looking forward to graduating in the spring and heading to university alongside his girlfriend to continue studying computer sciences.

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“They were going to do that together. They were going to grow. He had such a life ahead of them,” Naugler said.

An undated photo of Brandon Taylor, a 17-year-old pedestrian hit by a car that fled the scene, sending the Calgarian to hospital on Oct. 17. 2022. provided

Taylor’s in stable condition in hospital, his mother said, who added he’s suffered a broken collarbone, broken jaw, and has some pressure on his brain that is affecting the rest of his body.

Doctors told the family it usually takes five to seven days after severe head trauma to determine where the worst of brain damage may have happened.

“If we have to teach him to walk again, to talk again, to bring back his memory again — we don’t know. We don’t know the intensity of the impact, but there was some severe brain damage that happened with this,” Naugler said.

Read more: Man in bus shelter killed after truck loses control, crashes in southeast Calgary

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Where some parents might be filled with vengeful rage at a potentially life-changing injury, Naugler and Poirier have compassion for the driver, and are curious about what they were going through at the time. They just want closure.

“I just want us all to sit down — if or when my Brandon wakes up — just to have closure,” Naugler said. “We don’t hate this person. We’re just left with more questions because I feel as though they left in fear.

“Life just needs compassion — not hate, not anger.”

Click to play video: 'Driver charged with hit and run after striking Bridgeland sign'

Driver charged with hit and run after striking Bridgeland sign

Speaking with Global News outside the Children’s Hospital, the family said they’re seeing some improved responses as Taylor lies in hospital unconscious.

“Each day, he’s made a little bit of progress since his girlfriend came in,” Poirier said.

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“She plays his favorite music that they listen to together. His heart rate actually goes up to it,” he added.

“We’re just playing it day-by-day right now.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call CPS non-emergency at 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can also be provided to Crime Stoppers.

&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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