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Man in coma after possible hit-and-run crash; police unresponsive about search for suspect

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BATON ROUGE - Surveillance video from neighbors on Reymond Avenue shows a light-colored truck drive down the road at roughly 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Neighbors in the area believe resident James Bartee was hit by a vehicle and left on the road to die. Witnesses who don't want to be identified told WBRZ they were driving down the normally quiet Reymond Avenue at around 3 a.m. and found Bartee.

"We saw that he was very injured, he had a head injury, his shoes were knocked off, and he was bleeding."

They say Bartee was conscious and had his eyes open, but had a hard time breathing. The witnesses called the police and roughly eight minutes later paramedics arrived. 

That's when Bartee's injuries became more apparent.

"They started shining lights and he was bleeding profusely from his head."

We're told Bartee was out that night near the Perkins Underpass and was walking home. Bartee lives on Orpine Avenue, which is near Reymond Avenue.

Many neighbors say they didn't hear any police sirens, or a crash Saturday morning. That corresponds with witnesses' accounts of the accident, telling WBRZ the paramedics' lights were on, but no sirens.

Friends tell WBRZ Bartee is in a coma, has multiple broken bones, and lost his spleen. It will be a long road to recovery, but they think he will survive.

WBRZ reached out to a BRPD spokesperson about the incident Tuesday afternoon, but they have not responded.

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