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Veteran Left For Dead In Hit-And-Run Leaves Family Searching For Answers

WINCHESTER (CBSLA) — A family is looking for answers after their loved one, a Marine Corps. veteran, was left on the side of the road in a hit-and-run.

CHP is investigating the incident after Joseph Boots was found on the side of the road outside the Wild West Saloon in Winchester last Sunday.

His daughter, Angela, says she's used to seeing her dad as a tough guy — he was in armed service for 20 years. That's why she couldn't believe when she was called to his hospital room at Inland Valley Medical Center, where her father was waiting to undergo surgery.

"It was horrible seeing him in the room when we first got there. Several broken bones," she said, listing details about his state: "Staples in his head, pneumonia, kidney failure, lungs all jacked up, liver ... I believe he was waiting outside on the main road for his Uber."

She doesn't know if the Uber ever got there. She believes someone hit her dad, then drove off.

The bar is set back a distance from the road, explaining why there's no security video from that night. No one saw exactly what happened.

Neighbor Jim Bird called 911 after finding Boots. He says the area is dark at night and Boots could have been hit by accident. But he's say there's no excuse for leaving.

"I think about it several times a day. I'm sad that he was left there. To my knowledge, he was probably left there for 45 minutes," Bird said. "Somebody had to know that they hit something, in my opinion."

That's what Boots' family believes. They're hoping the driver will realize just how serious this crash was, and will turn themselves in.

"Hopefully we find the person who does," Angela said. "And if not, I'm a strong believer in karma.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page here.

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