KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Family and friends are praying that 17-year-old Keontay Cheffen survives a hit-and-run crash that they say nearly killed him on Wednesday morning.
“He couldn`t breathe on his own, and there`s blood and swelling in the brain,” Ashanae Chandler, Cheffen’s cousin, told FOX 4's Melissa Stern in an exclusive interview.
Cheffen was seriously injured in the crash involving a stolen vehicle. He remains at Truman Medical Center with severe head trauma.
“We`re very close, I practically helped raise him” Chandler said.
“I guess just the usual hanging out with friends, and wrong place wrong time... especially at 4:30 in the morning,” Chandler continued about what happened to her cousin.
Police say the four suspects and Cheffen were in Kessler Park at Reservoir and Lookout Point Drive when they had a disagreement.
“I thought maybe it was just a gash, or stitches, once I actually saw him, I lost it,” Chandler added.
According to police, the suspects knew Cheffen and the driver claims they did not mean to hit him.
“Sometimes you have to be careful of who you hang with,” said Chandler.
His family is just hoping for the best.
“He`s had stitches before, he`s been in the hospital lots of times, he`s a daredevil, but he`s a fighter, he`s very strong,” Chandler said. “With God's prayers, and his healing hand, he comes out of this.”
“By the grace of God he woke up, but he didn`t know where he was.”
Cheffen's family says for his safety and his condition doctors are keeping him in a medically induced coma.
The family asks that everyone keep Cheffen in their thoughts and prayers. They're trying to raise money for medical bills, check this link for more information.