PENDELTON — The community came together on Tuesday to pray for the 13-year-old boy fighting for his life after a hit-and-run crash in Hancock County.
"Jasper is a fun-loving kid. Very respectful and kind. Everyone was his friend," said Lucille Helping, Jasper’s librarian and SOAR Tutor.
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office said someone hit the young boy on Saturday night while he was riding his bike in Wilkinson near State Road 109.
"He's an amazing kid and just full of life and energy, God, and we're so grateful for Jasper," Robyn Brown, Jasper’s Assistant Swim Coach said during the prayer vigil that was held outside Pendleton Heights Middle School.
"I was shocked," Jasper's Teacher Beth Humphrey said of hearing about the accident. "I was like a lot of people and found out through social media and I just couldn't believe it. I'd just seen him here a few weeks ago, and it's hard to imagine that happening."
Police say a passerby found Jasper lying on the ground next to a bicycle and called 911. He had his eyes open but was unable to speak. He was airlifted to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, where he remains in critical condition.
"Ugh, I was really sad because I’ve known Jasper for a while," Sean Galvin, Jasper’s teammate and friend shared. "It's been really hard to deal with."
Dozens gathered Tuesday night in front of Jasper's school, Pendleton Heights Middle School, to pray for the young boy's recovery.
They sang, prayed, took up donations and signed cards for Jasper.
"We just want the family to know that we are really praying for Jasper, and we're just really wanting God to intervene and heal him," Helpling said.
"I always joke with him; I’d always have to tell him to take his hood down," Humphrey said. "I can't wait for him to be back here so I can tell him to take his hood down in the hall."
"I really hope he recovers really quickly especially before swim season because we really do need him," Galvin said.
The family has set up an online fundraiser to help Jasper's family navigate this life-changing event.
Police say the suspect vehicle involved in the hit-and-run may have damage to the front right and passenger side.
Anyone with information should contact detectives with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.