LAWRENCE – The Methuen High School sophomore struck early Monday morning by a hit and run driver has a ruptured spleen, leg and arm fractures, a head injury and more and will be undergoing surgery this week.
"The bottom line is, he is pretty banged up. And he is the oldest of five children, so there are four other kids affected here too," said Dr. Meg Morse-Barry of Derry, N.H., grandmother to Joseph Barry, 15.
At 6:30 a.m. Monday, Barry was in a Lowell Street crosswalk trying to get aboard a stopped school bus when he was struck by a full-size white pickup driven by Robert Jacques, 28, of Lowell.
Jacques fled the scene and abandoned the 1999 Chevy Silverado but later turned himself in to Methuen police detectives Monday.
He was held on $50,000 cash bail at his arraignment in Lawrence District Court Tuesday morning for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, driving negligently and failure to stop for a school bus.
Jacques, father of three young children, was also held without bail on an outstanding warrant issued by Ayer District Court for motor vehicle charges. Jacques had been driving with a suspended license since some time in October, police said.
Barry, meanwhile, remains in an intensive care surgical unit at Children's Hospital in Boston, where he was Medflighted after the accident.
His grandmother said doctors are tending first to his lacerated spleen. They hope to operate as soon as possible on his left leg, which was shattered in the accident, she said. She described Joseph as a straight-A student and a compassionate young man the family is proud of.
The Barrys are rallying around Joseph and grateful for the outpouring of support they are receiving, she said.
Morse-Barry said Joseph's younger sister, 14, was among a small group of students also waiting for the bus Monday. "They could have been hit," she said.
Police records indicate Joseph's father, Michael Barry, and a neighbor, Michael Whiteman, helped the teen immediately at the accident scene. Rescuers who arrived first said Joseph was lying on his back near a rear tire of the bus. His face was covered in blood due to a laceration on his forehead.
Joseph told Officer David Souther he was scared. Officer Elvin Alarcon applied gauze to the boy's bloodied face.
Souther immediately told the Fire Department and paramedics to "step up their response," he wrote in his report.
Morse-Barry thanked the Methuen Police Department for its response and quick pursuit of Jacques on Monday.
"We appreciate everything they did. Joey is stable right now," she said Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday morning, Jacques was driving his father's pickup truck because he'd lost his car keys. After hitting the boy in the crosswalk at Lowell and East Capital streets, where the school bus was stopped, police said, Jacques drove away, later striking a parked car on Oakland Avenue and finally abandoning the truck near 57 Chase St.
Officer Arthur Hardy found the abandoned pickup.
Starting minutes after the accident, police were able to obtain footage of the hit-and-run crash from video surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. A photo clip of the pickup and Jacques' name and photo were also posted and shared on the Police Department's Facebook page and Twitter site.
Shortly after, Jacques turned himself in to Methuen police detectives, who picked him up on Causeway Street in Boston.
In court yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Anna Zalewsky asked Judge Mark Sullivan to set bail at $50,000. Jacques, she said, poses "a flight risk, as he fled" from the scene of the accident.
Defense attorney Thomas Sheehan said Jacques has an 11th-grade education and lives with his girlfriend, who was in the courtroom along with his sister and mother. Jacques has three young children, ages 3, 16 months and 3 months, Sheehan said.
Dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt, Jacques stood behind defense attorney Thomas Sheehan, trying to shield himself from the media throng in the courtroom.
Sheehan said Jacques was "extremely remorseful" for the events Monday and confessed to police. He said Jacques called Methuen police and told them to come get him after the accident. It was not immediately known why he was in Boston.
Police obtained a search warrant for his cell phone to check whether he was texting or otherwise distracted when the accident happened, but the results are not complete.
If Jacques does make bail, Judge Mark Sullivan said he is barred from driving and subject to house arrest and must check in with probation.
He is due back in Lawrence District Court on Jan. 16.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.