ROBBINS, N.C. (WNCN) -Several dozen people gathered outside of Guiding Light Baptist Church Thursday night in Spies while sending their prayers to a boy fighting for his life at a local hospital.
“I’ve played it over and over in my mind a million times — what could have happened?” said Pastor Mark Medlin.
Medlin said he invited families to the vigil Thursday evening to support 12-year-old Tyler Mabe and Tyler’s family.
North Carolina troopers said a driver hit Tyler and drove off while he was walking home with a friend Tuesday night on Spies Road, west of Robbins in Moore County.
First responders found the boy in a ditch and reacted quickly.
“Was it one of our seniors who didn’t see him? Was it someone going too fast? We don’t know,” Medlin said.
Medlin said he witnessed the tragedy’s impact on the community, but also said it’s been amazing to see the love and support that’s come with it.
Medlin said he saw several new faces that showed up to pray for Tyler Thursday.
“That’s kind of how this community is. We try to take care of one another,” he said.
Laura Duncan, who traveled from Eagle Springs, said it was important for her to attend the Thursday night vigil. Duncan said her grandson goes to school with Tyler and has been heartbroken since he learned what happened.
“It’s just a bad thing, you know… Somebody runs down a child, then speeds off,” Duncan said.
Duncan said Tyler’s critical condition hasn’t deterred people from giving up hope.
“Tyler is a fine young man and he’s going to come back to us. God’s going to bring him home,” she said.
Off camera, CBS 17 News spoke with Tyler’s family who also attended. They shared photos of Tyler and said he has several siblings and loves to fish.
Tyler’s family said the last few days have been very emotional. Relatives told CBS 17 that Tyler has shown some signs of improvement.
State troopers said they are still looking for the driver responsible for hitting Tyler and are asking anyone who has information to reach out.
They believe the driver may have been in a silver Toyota or Honda and may have headed west to Montgomery County.