August 15, 2022

SMH

Santa Maria History

Houston parents plead for help finding driver who hit Northline boy walking home from school

After Houston police bungled the chance to obtain security camera footage showing a May hit-and-run that forever changed the life of a 13-year-old Northline middle schooler, detectives are now asking the public to help solve the crime. 

Kameron Duckworth was walking home from Fonville Middle School, located in the 700 block of East Little York Road, around 4:15 p.m. on May 2 when he was struck by the driver of a car. It was like any other school day for the newly minted teenager, typically spent chatting after class and eventually making his way to his family’s nearby apartment accompanied by a friend. 

Kameron’s trek home includes crossing six busy lanes of traffic on East Little York at Nordling Street. That afternoon, his friend had already made it across the roadway as Kameron waited on a concrete median near the crosswalk for traffic to pass. His parents said there was no crossing guard.

Once the coast appeared clear, Kameron stepped into the street. That’s when a speeding driver, who Kameron’s parents believe had just made an illegal U-turn, struck the boy throwing him nearly 70 feet. 

A witness told Chron 13-year-old Kameron Duckworth was struck by a hit-and-run driver near where this patch of grass is growing through the curb at the intersection of East Little York and Nordling streets in early May 2022 while walking home from school. Duckworth was thrown nearly 70 feet. 

Jay R. Jordan / Chron staff

“I was told he went up in the air and landed on his face,” said Kameron’s mother Kimberly Duckworth Wednesday. Kameron survived the hit but suffered injuries that will last into adulthood, his mother said. On top of scarring on his face and a severely injured leg, he lost several teeth. Because he is so young, he won’t be able to get them permanently fixed until he’s older. 

The driver continued down East Little York after hitting Kameron in front of the busy block, which his mother said was full of parents, teachers and schoolchildren who might have seen the collision. A witness who later spoke with Houston Police Department investigators said he followed the car, which he described only as a white sedan, for some time but lost sight. The witness did not provide a make or model of the car, the license plate number or description of the driver. 

Houston police appear to have little to build on solving the case, in part from their own apparent lack of immediate investigating. There isn’t even a consensus on the type of car. In a crash report filed May 17, police claimed it was a Chevrolet. A witness later told Kimberly Duckworth is was a Nissan. On Wednesday, a man who works near the school and saw the hit told Chron that the car was a Dodge. 

APS Motors, a repair shop located at East Little York and Nordling streets seen here Wednesday, June 15, 2022, has two security cameras facing the street where 13-year-old Kameron Duckworth was struck by a hit-and-run driver in early May 2022 while walking home from school. 

APS Motors, a repair shop located at East Little York and Nordling streets seen here Wednesday, June 15, 2022, has two security cameras facing the street where 13-year-old Kameron Duckworth was struck by a hit-and-run driver in early May 2022 while walking home from school. 

Jay R. Jordan / Chron staff

APS Motors, located at the intersection of East Little York and Nordling, has two cameras pointing toward the intersection where Kameron was hit. The business keeps its recordings for a week before the system purges to save storage space, according to owner German Almaguer. 

Detectives might have a better idea of the make and model of the car, and potentially a license plate number, if they had looked for nearby surveillance video immediately after the crash, but both Almaguer and Kameron’s parents said investigators waited more than four weeks to ask nearby businesses for footage. By that time, it had already been deleted.


School officials told Kameron’s parents their outside cameras weren’t working, and the owner of a gas station at the intersection told Chron they didn’t have any footage to give police when they asked. 

“He didn’t do anything,” Kimberly Duckworth said of the first investigator on the case. “He could have went and checked the cameras at the auto place, and we could have seen what happened. They’ve got cameras there.” 

Only after another detective took over the case did the family start to see some movement on the investigation, they said. On Wednesday, more than a month-and-a-half after Kameron was hit, Houston police published a press release asking for the public to call hit-and-run detectives with any information on the driver. Attempts Wednesday to contact the detective on the case were unsuccessful.

Kameron Duckworth, 13, pictured in the emergency room after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in early May 2022 while walking home from school. Duckworth spent only four hours in the hospital before doctors discharged him.

Kameron Duckworth, 13, pictured in the emergency room after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in early May 2022 while walking home from school. Duckworth spent only four hours in the hospital before doctors discharged him.

Submitted / Kimberly Duckworth

“Somebody had to have seen the license plate,” Kimberly Duckworth said. “Somebody had to see who was driving. There were too many people out there at the time. I wouldn’t want them to hit anybody else’s child.” 

Kameron is on a long road to recovery. His father, Glen Graham, said the the two would routinely work out together and that Kameron loved playing basketball with his brothers. Now, unable to bend his leg, Kameron is immobile for at least the summer. 

“This person knew they hit a kid and kept going,” Graham said. “Whoever hit him, if they had a child, I don’t think they’d want someone to hit their 13-year-old kid and keep going.”

Anyone with information on the driver is urged to call Houston Police Department hit-and-run detectives at 713-247-4072.