West Richland man victim of hit-and-run while jogging

West Richland man victim of hit-and-run while jogging
WEST RICHLAND, Wash -- A young man was the victim of a hit-and-run while out on a daily jog. He survived -- but knows it could have been much worse.

Michael Stephens believes the driver was likely on his phone when he ran into the curb -- and then ran into Michael.

He runs down Blue Jay Lane in West Richland on a regular basis. He is entering the Navy and trying to get Boot Camp ready. Something unexpected happened his last time out.

"He hit me square in the hip and I rolled up over the hood and came off and hit the side mirror on the passenger side," said Stephens.

He says the driver was in a newer model, dark blue Ford Explorer. He only saw a white man inside with short black hair. He's pretty sure the driver was texting. Michael heard the guy hit the curb before hitting him -- and said his neck was bent, his face illuminated by a phone screen.

"When I looked up from laying on the ground, he peeled out and took off," said Stephens.

Stephens was left scratched and bruised. He thinks his body damaged the SUV's mirror. But he couldn't get a license plate number.

Stephens and his mother did a ride along with police to give them a better idea of what exactly happened..and then later, police went across the street to the neighbors to see if they saw anything, but they did not.

Stephens' mom began spreading the word on Facebook.
Her post got hundreds of shares.

"We're not out to get anybody, but to really raise awareness, we don't want this to happen to somebody else," said Maria Stephens.

Stephens' mom says, at the very least, she wants the driver to own up to it. Knowing this was a close call and someone could have been seriously hurt.

"If you hit me, I'd at least prefer that you have the guts to come forward and say you did it."

West Richland Police can't do much without a detailed description of the driver or car. Two people were hurt in hit-and-runs over the summer elsewhere in the Tri-Cities. Those drivers were never found.