MIAMI SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – The father of a veteran state corrections officer, who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver, is asking for the public’s help.

“He had to be guilty. That’s why he ran away. That wasn’t fair. He shouldn’t have done it,” said Lawrence A. McGill, the father of 44-year-old, injured corrections officer Lawrence Theodore McGill.

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McGill told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “That hit and driver should come forward. We need to get some tips. We need to find out who did this. I feel terrible about this. My son is a good kid.”

Lawrence McGill’s 1997, purple Dodge Stratus was nearly crushed by the collision that happened early Wednesday morning near the intersection of Northwest 36th Street and Miller Drive.

Fire Rescue crews on the scene said McGill’s legs were trapped and part of the car’s door had to be cut open so that McGill could be removed safely.

Detectives said McGill’s car was struck by a dark blue, 2006 Chrysler Van. They said that the driver of that vehicle stopped and tried to help McGill but then he took off on foot.

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D’Oench examined both vehicles at a police impound lot at Nu-Way Towing of Miami and found that damage was extensive. Windows were shattered and the air bags had deployed.

Police said that McGill’s injuries were not life threatening and that he underwent surgery in the morning at the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

McGill said his son was proud of being a state corrections officer.

“He’s been a corrections officer a long time,” said his father. “He’s a good corrections officer. He planned on retiring soon. Now we need to make sure we get help on this case. I’m heading down to the hospital to see how he is doing. And I want to make sure he’ll be able to walk ok. I want to make sure he can return to work.”

“It would also mean a lot to me if we could solve this case. It would mean a lot,” he said.

Police described the driver of the Chrysler van as “a heavy set, Hispanic male in his 40s with short dark hair.”

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If you can help, call Miami Springs Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-tips (8477).

Peter D'Oench