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Texas car club starts fundraiser for wheelchair-bound man struck by teen in brutal hit-and-run

The Texas teenager had a logo for the car club on the back of his truck during the hit-and-run

A 17-year-old accused of running over a wheelchair-bound man in a North Austin parking lot earlier this month had a logo on the back of his truck for the Clave Privada Car and Truck Club based in Austin, Texas.

That club is now hosting fundraisers and starting a GoFundMe for the victim of the brutal hit-and-run, Rogelio De Luna, who suffered a cracked skull, brain bleed, lacerations to his head, and a fractured pelvis.

De Luna appeared at a fundraiser hosted by Ryan Zalez, a leader of the car club, on Tuesday evening, where they raised $2,407 to help him in his recovery. Zalez wrote on social media that the club had nothing to do with the incident but he felt compelled to help.

The suspect, 17-year-old Pablo Antonio Avila-Banagas, was taken into custody on Sept. 9, six days after the incident. He’s facing charges of injury to a disabled person, failure to stop and render aid, unlawful possession of a firearm, and failure to identify. A failure to identify charge under Texas code occurs when someone “refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.”

The Austin Police Department released video of the incident, which shows De Luna making his way across a parking lot in an electric wheelchair as he puts up his hand to motion for an oncoming truck to slow down.

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An affidavit obtained Austin said that the driver “jerked hard left” as he was approaching and ran over De Luna. Witnesses at the scene said that it looked like the driver accelerated as he ran over the victim, then skipped a curb and sped off, according to the affidavit.

An Austin Fire Department truck was in the area and helped treat De Luna, who was transported to a local hospital with severe injuries.

De Luna told KEYE that he is just happy to be alive after the shocking incident.

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“Yesterday, I saw the video and I thank god,” De Luna told the local news outlet. “As far as I remember, I went through the parking area of La Michoacana and now I don’t remember until I saw the video.”

Avila-Banagas is currently being held on a $10,000 bond, with other charges possible. Court records did not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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