LEFT FOR DEAD IN THE STREET
By DAWN COHEN
POLICE are hunting for a hit-and-run driver who left Jeff Batty in a Lennox Head gutter with serious head injuries.
Mr Batty, 19, was crouching on the verge of Cliff Murray Lane, outside Lennox Point Hotel, at 11.30pm last Thursday, when he was hit in the face by the vehicle.
The Lennox Head man had earlier left the hotel for some air.
A cyclist found the horticulturist bleeding in the gutter about 20 minutes later.
Lismore Base Hospital surgeon, Dr Arthur Bilski, performed a three-hour operation to repair the damage to Jeff's features.
He was discharged early this week but remains under medical care.
Yesterday his father, Ken Batty, pleaded for the driver to come forward.
"The driver left my son lying in the dirt," said Mr Batty.
"His face is badly injured. I just hope the guy owns up to it."
Security video footage from the hotel has been examined by police.
"They could watch Jeff walk across the pub's car park, and they saw a vehicle leave the car park," Mr Batty said.
Inspector Bill McKenna said police had seized a vehicle in relation to the accident and were conducting inquiries.
Jeff has had to cancel plans to race in this weekend's Aussie Racing Car national championships at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
Family friends say he is more devastated at letting down the sponsors of his vehicle than missing the competition.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact the Ballina Crash Investigation Unit on 66818699.