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Father struck by hit-and-run driver outside Food 4 Less has leg amputated

Victim was buckling in his son into car seat
Father by hit-and-run driver outside Food 4 Less in El Cerrito has leg amputated
Posted at 3:15 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 20:44:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A father struck by a hit-and-run driver while buckling his son in a child seat outside an El Cerrito Food 4 Less, underwent a 7th, 'devastating' surgery Friday.

"Absolutely overwhelming. Never understood that word until now." said Ben Xavier.

Xavier shared the feelings of his family, after his brother’s shopping trip turned into a nightmare.

On Sunday afternoon, Tu Lam was putting in his 6-year-old son into the back seat, when police say a silver Saturn Vue, going west in the Food 4 Less parking lot, veered into Lam, pinning him against his car.

Investigators say the Saturn then drove off.

See video of the incident released by police here or below:

Bystanders ran up to the Lam. His young son managed to help a woman contact his family members.

"Managed after a few tries, to unlock his father’s phone. Walked her through numbers to call," said Xavier.

Five days later, those loved ones continue to rally around Lam, a husband and father of two who works as machinist. He suffered a fractured pelvis and right leg. On this day, that leg was amputated in his 7th surgery.

"It’s devastating. Absolutely devastating," said Xavier.

Xavier says there will be more surgeries to follow. The road ahead will be a long one.

"Just going from moment to moment trying to get his needs and his family’s needs met," said Xavier.

As for the investigation, the driver remains a mystery. Although there has been a rash of crimes against Asian Americans across the country, Xavier believes this was an accident, followed by a bad decision. He has this message for the driver.

"I don’t feel malice toward them. My hope is they bring themselves ... to take the next step and call authorities ... We must take responsibility first," said Xavier.

Anyone with information on this crash was asked to call the San Diego Police at 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154. Tipsters can also call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with expenses.