A 14-year-old boy skateboarding to middle school for his moving-up ceremony rehearsal was hit by an SUV on a busy Lido Beach road Tuesday, causing severe head injuries, police said.
The eighth-grader was skateboarding east on Lido Boulevard when he was struck by a westbound Mercedes-Benz sport-utility vehicle, police said.
Neither the teenager, who is in critical condition, nor the 44-year-old driver were identified.
Herbst said the driver, a man, was "in shock." He said the teenager was breathing but unresponsive.
"I just stayed there and tried to let him know I was there," he said. "I just kept saying, 'Don't fall asleep. I'm here with you. I'm here.' "
Another passing motorist, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, helped the youth until the ambulance arrived, Herbst said.
Nassau County police detectives said there was no apparent criminality in the accident.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the student and his family and friends. We hope for a full and quick recovery," David Weiss, superintendent of Long Beach Public Schools, said in a statement.
The boy had been on his way to Long Beach Middle School to rehearse for today's moving-up ceremony, according to the statement.
The boy was taken initially to Nassau University Medical Center.
An NUMC spokeswoman said he was transferred in critical condition Tuesday afternoon to Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
The driver who hit the boy was shaken up, and had to be given oxygen at the scene, Herbst said.
"I've never seen anyone so frantic," the witness said.