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Mother of hit-and-run victim knows it was accident, hopes tipsters can help police

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 9:03 a.m. MDT

Demetria Cisneros poses with her son, who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver Friday, and her young daughter. The mother hopes anyone with information about the accident will contact police. (Demetria Cisneros) Demetria Cisneros poses with her son, who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver Friday, and her young daughter. The mother hopes anyone with information about the accident will contact police. (Demetria Cisneros)

MURRAY — Demetria Cisneros spends all the time she can next to her son's hospital bed, though he's usually sleeping.

But if she got a chance to talk to the hit-and-run driver who left her son lying broken and bleeding in the road, she says she wouldn't take it.

"I have to leave everything to God. I can't say anything to (the driver)," she said in Spanish. "I can't judge or say anything."

Mario Cisneros, 25, has been at Intermountain Medical Center since early Friday morning when a passer-by spotted him about 1:45 a.m. near 7300 South and Jordan Landing Boulevard in West Jordan.

Police have little to go on as they investigate the crash. A grainy surveillance video from a nearby business shows the accident, but police can't see much detail about the car that hit Mario Cisneros or a second driver who may have witnessed it.

Mario Cisneros, 25, is recovering from a severely injured leg, broken ribs, a damaged lung, numerous cuts and a blow to the head after a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street in West Jordan. (Demetria Cisneros) Mario Cisneros, 25, is recovering from a severely injured leg, broken ribs, a damaged lung, numerous cuts and a blow to the head after a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street in West Jordan. (Demetria Cisneros)

The video shows a car hitting Mario Cisneros and throwing him about 100 feet as he walked down the street. The driver then swerved into another lane to drive around the man's unconscious body as he or she fled, West Jordan Police Sgt. Dan Roberts said. A second car can also be seen changing lanes to avoid the accident.

"The driver that hit the victim knew what happened. They applied their brakes right before impact," Roberts said. "It seems clear that (the second driver) should have been aware of something."

Police don't know the make or model of the car, but it should have some obvious damage to the front end, hood and maybe the windshield, Roberts said.

Mario Cisneros had been drinking at the time and was walking down the middle of the street, not crossing it, Roberts said.

"Had the driver stopped, they likely wouldn't have received a citation," Roberts said. "But fleeing the scene makes it a felony."

The only hope of solving the case lies with tipsters, Demetria Cisneros said.

"If you have something, if you know the person that did this, notify police. Don't stay quiet," she pleaded.

Mario Cisneros left the house about 11:30 p.m. to buy some snacks, he told his mother, offering to bring her back some chocolate. She dozed off as she waited for him and awoke three hours later when police knocked on her door.

As of Wednesday, Mario Cisneros had undergone two of three surgeries to save his badly injured leg. He has several broken ribs, a battered lung, cuts across his body and a head injury that is impacting his vision in one eye.

"I know it was an accident. Maybe the person didn't see him, but what upsets me, what I think is unfair, is that they hit him and after the accident they left him thrown aside without helping him or calling the police so they could help him," Demetria Cisneros said.

Her son sleeps most of the time, but Demetria Cisneros believes he knows she's there and that he appreciates the many visits from family and members of her LDS ward. Demetria Cisneros was recently baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even Mormon missionaries have come to see her son, she said.

"I hope that he can feel all the people who have come to see him, although sometimes he has been asleep," she said.

In the brief moments he has been awake, Demetria Cisneros has questioned him about the accident, but she hasn't learned much.

"He doesn't remember what happened. All he says that he remembers is that he was walking, and nothing else," she said.

Doctors are unsure how well Mario Cisneros' leg will heal, but it's clear his recovery will be long and difficult. Through it all, his mother will be by his side.

"He's my life, my reason to be," she said. "I have three children. They're all important in my life, and I'm not going to leave him until he gets through this."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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