LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Midlands mother says she wants justice for her 19-year-old son, Tijhee Salley, who was hit and killed by a van while riding his bike last week.
"It's like a part of me died with him and how do you get over the fact – you can't ever get over it! My child will always be in my heart," Tijhee's mother, Laura Jackson-Anderson said.
South Carolina Highway Patrol continues their search for the driver who they say left the scene of the incident. Now, Tijhee's family is left looking for answers.
His mother told WIS he loved animals and had even hoped to be a zoologist, but those dreams were cut short.
"He was quiet, but he got along well with a lot of people. Everybody really loved him," Jackson-Anderson said.
She went on to say that Tijhee often hung out with family and friends but he was supposed to be home before dark.
"It was about 9:00 and I was looking. It was getting pretty late, and I was wondering where he was at," she said.
Soon after she began to worry, his mother said she got a call from Tijhee's father, yelling on the phone telling her to "get to the hospital because Tijhee had been hit."
She said she thought it was a joke. Once she made it to the hospital, however, she faced a sobering reality.
"They already had him on the stretcher and I didn't see him moving and I was trying to get to him. They wouldn't let me near him," his mother said.
Officials said Tijhee was out riding his bike when he was hit by a van shortly after 9:00 p.m. on Friday on YMCA Road near Ruff Acres Lane. The driver never stopped.
"When I saw my baby didn't move, and they told me he had a pulse, I thought they were lying to me – that he was already dead at that time," Jackson-Anderson said.
Tijhee suffered traumatic injuries and died one day later while at the hospital.
Meanwhile, officials continue to search for the driver and a white, Chevy or GMC work van, which they say will likely have damage to the front, right-side headlight.
A store owner nearby provided the family with surveillance video showing what appears to be the damaged van taking off from the scene.
Tijhee's mom says she wants answers for her son.
"You left my child there for dead. You didn't even try to see about him or anything. I don't know how long my child was on the side of the road, but I want justice served," Jackson-Anderson said.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest. If you know anything, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC.