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Heroic Neighbor Risks Life To Prevent Hit-Run Driver From Escaping

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Hit-and-run drivers have been known to leave families and loved ones of victims in despair. Not in this case in the city's Tioga neighborhood.

"This is one that did not get away," said Rafael Rodriguez, the neighbor who helped prevent the driver who struck 16-year-old Jose Ruiz from getting away.

Rodriguez made sure the unidentified driver from the May 2nd accident at Front and Tioga Streets didn't leave the scene, even if it meant risking his own life. Rodriguez was dragged more than a block by the driver who struck Ruiz twice, according to authorities. Rodriguez says that after the driver struck Ruiz the first time, he stopped, but then accelerated and ran over the victim again.

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Witnesses say police arrived shortly after the accident and apprehended the driver.

After an eight-day battle dealing with severe injuries to the head at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Ruiz wouldn't survive. His family decided to turn off Ruiz's life support earlier this week.

"It was very sad being in the hospital, watching him fighting for his life," said one family member.

While charges in the case may now be upgraded due to Ruiz's death, Rodriguez says he wouldn't hesitate to step into action again.

Ruiz's life may have been cut short, but other's may be saved.

Reported by Natasha Brown, CBS 3

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