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Brother: Hit-and-run victim is a fighter

Brother: Hit-and-run victim is a fighter

21-year-old struck by car Saturday night in Clifton Park
Brother: Hit-and-run victim is a fighter
A piece of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run crash is seen in this photo provided by troopers.
Photographer: provided photo

CLIFTON PARK -- As Michael Novenche, 21, recovers in the Intensive Care Unit at Albany Medical Center, his relatives are struggling to accept that the avid hunter and fisherman is confined to a hospital bed.

"To see him in a bed not doing that really breaks my heart," said John Novenche, Michael's brother, on Monday.

Novenche was listed in critical condition Monday after he was struck by a car Saturday night in Clifton Park. The motorist fled the scene and police are still looking for the driver.

Tuesday a.m. update: Arrest made in Clifton Park hit-and-run, Oct. 30, 2018

Novenche was walking home alone from a friend's house when he stopped at a Sunoco gas station at the intersection of Lapp and Crescent roads. When he left the store, he planned to walk to his Southbury Road home, no more than a few hundred feet from the gas station. But as he entered a crosswalk, a vehicle described by troopers as a blue Hyundai Santa Fe with extensive front passenger-side damage struck him. Possible model years range from 2007 to 2010.

Police have not identified Novenche as the victim -- his brother was reached by The Daily Gazette after he posted a social media update on his brother's condition. No updates on the investigation were available from troopers Monday afternoon.

Previous: Troopers seek help in Saturday Clifton Park hit-and-run

After the crash, the driver fled east on Crescent Road, troopers said. 

According to Michael Novanche's aunt, Patty Novenche, her nephew stood up and continued to walk after being hit but eventually had to stop because of his injuries, which included a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, bruised ribs and a fractured skull.

The crash happened at about 11:48 p.m., said police.

A motorist who also happened to be a nurse found Novenche at the scene, according to John Novenche, and she stayed with him until an ambulance arrived. On Monday Novenche was breathing on his own, after having initially been on a respirator, his brother said.

"That's at least a step in the right direction," he added. 

Novenche doesn't have a driver's license and walks everywhere, according to his relatives. A lover of the outdoors, his biggest concern now, according to Patty Novenche, is how his injuries will affect the hunting season.

Saturday's accident was an especially traumatic blow to both the family and Michael, since Michael has, his entire life, been in and out of hospitals due to a brain tumor that doctors found when he was just 2.

Over 21 years, he has undergone three cranial operations and four rounds of chemotherapy. His condition stabilized after his final surgery years ago, said John, but he still goes to regularly scheduled MRI appointments to monitor the tumor.

"Michael is not like any other 21 year old," Patty Novenche said, saying her nephew has the strength of a man twice his size. "He has overcome obstacles that have continued to impress everyone."

An outpouring of support on social media from friends for Michael has been uplifting, John said.

Previous: Troopers seek help in Saturday Clifton Park hit-and-run

"It's definitely great to see that from the community," he said. "It's definitely made this easier."

John noted that it is important that the motorist who hit Michael be held accountable for the crime, and the family was working to spread information about the incident. Patty Novenche hopes the driver will come forward.

"I know that Michael is my nephew, but I know he is loved by everyone. We don’t want this story to be forgotten tomorrow.  We need to find this driver," she said.

Tuesday a.m. update: Arrest made in Clifton Park hit-and-run, Oct. 30, 2018

But the main focus for the family right now is Michael.

"The big thing right now is to make sure that Michael is OK," his brother said. 

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to contact the state police at 518-583-7000.

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