APPEAL: 11-year-old Nathaniel Oyeleke had aspirations of becoming a footballer
A MOTHER has issued a desperate appeal to find the driver responsible for hitting her 11-year-old son and leaving him for dead.
Nathaniel Oyeleke, from East Dulwich, south London, had ambitions of becoming a footballer before he was tragically struck by an Audi hatchback and left for dead by the side of the road near his school on March 25.
His mother, Matilda Leocaria, has launched a £1000 reward and called for anybody who witnessed the collision to come forward in the hopes of finding the perpetrator who has yet to be held to account for their actions.
Leocaria said her son underwent five hours of surgery at King’s College Hospital to save his life before being put in an induced coma for three weeks.
Nathaniel, who once aspired to play for premiership team Chelsea, was left brain damaged and no longer able to play football.
Leocaria said: “To see him go through all this pain, it’s been terrible. I didn’t know whether he was going to be alive or not. If the driver is caught it ensures they don’t go unpunished and they are not out there to put other lives at risk. It’s about justice.”
Also joining in the appeal is Nathanial’s aunt, Olabisi Lambo, who added: “The driver really needs to understand the impact of their reckless driving and the impact that it has had on people’s lives. Nathaniel’s lucky to be alive.
Lambo said Nathaniel was now prone to bursting into tears and was most frustrated at no longer being able to play football.
She said her nephew had struggled to walk again and had speech and learning skills difficulties.
She added: “His development has been taken back a few years. He’s having to learn everything all over again. In terms of his education, he’s not where he should be.”
Martin Usher, an associate at BL Claims Solicitors, who has been working with the family, said: “Nathaniel and his family have been through a horrific ordeal and the effects of the crash will be felt for many years to come.”
Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Andy Russell, who is leading the investigation, appealed for witnesses and the driver to come forward.
Anyone with information should call police on 020 8543 5157, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.