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11-year-old Detroit boy hit by car just one day after earning city award

Amari Green won the Detroit Distinguished Service Award one day before someone hit him with a car and sped off
Posted at 10:53 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-09 23:26:25-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — An 11-year-old boy was walking home from a recreation center on Detroit's east side late last month when a driver hit him and sped away.

Amari Green was walking from the Heilmann Recreation Center, which is just blocks from his home. It happened near E. State Fair Street and Hayes Street on Jan. 24, just one day after Amari was honored with an award by the city of Detroit.

Amari and his mother Arkesha Merriweather moved back to her hometown of Detroit from Phoenix in 2023. Amari was getting adjusted to his life in Detroit, playing both basketball and football.

He was at the Heilmann Recreation Center, as he is every weekday, wrapping up a game of basketball when he began his walk home. He crossed at a stoplight while having the right of way when someone hit him.

“I didn’t even see the car... I was almost across the street and I got hit," Amari said.

As the vehicle sped away, Amari crawled to a sidewalk for help until another driver pulled over to help the boy and called emergency services. Meanwhile, Merriweather received a knock on her door from the Detroit Police Department that she will never forget.

“I answer the door. They asked, 'Are you Arkesha Merriweather?' '(I responded) Yes I am,'" Merriweather said.

Police then asked if she had a son named Amari Green, and Merriweather told them she does.

"(I asked) What do you want? And he’s like, 'Amari was hit by a car,'" Merriweather recalled.

As the heartbroken mother dropped to her knees, she could only imagine what he son's condition was. She raced over to the hospital where he was being treated. Thankfully, Amari was conscious and only had a strained neck, swelling and scarring from road burn and some injury to his eye.

However, Merriweather was enraged with the fact that someone had left her son for dead.

Amari Green was hit by a car at the intersection of E State Fair St. & Hayes St. on January 24 around 6 p.m.
Amari Green was hit by a car at the intersection of E State Fair St. & Hayes St. on January 24 around 6 p.m.

“His head hit the ground. My baby could’ve been having a seizure, his brain could’ve been bleeding. You just left him there," she said. “I would like to know who did this to my son, I would like some accountability.”

The day before the incident, the family was riding on a high. Amari had won the Distinguished Service Award from the city of Detroit for his involvement in an all-star football team that won a national championship.

"There was a big ceremony where he got to meet the city council and everybody. That took place on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the police (were) at my door saying he was ran over in the street and I'm like oh, my God," Merriweather said.

The young athlete still can not play sports due to his injuries to his eyes and head. But he says he’ll be back.

Amari Green is a national champion with his All-Star football team
Amari Green is a national champion with his All-Star football team

“It’s kind of like a good comeback story," Amari said.

And everyone loves a good comeback story.

The Detroit Police Department is investigating the hit-and-run but do not have a vehicle description.

The family asks that residents in the area of E. State Fair and Hayes streets to check their surveillance cameras from Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

If you have any information, you can call the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP to remain anonymous.