POLICE are continuing to hunt a Mercedes driver who hit a four-year-old on a crossing and fled.

The motorist drove through a red light, striking the child before driving away.

The crash happened at 4.10pm on Wednesday in High Road, Pitsea.

A 19-year-old eyewitness, from Stanford-Le-Hope, said: “I was driving on the roundabout towards Aldi when a police car came up behind me with blue lights.

“I pulled over so they could get by and watched them stop opposite the bus stop, where a police car was already there.

“Straight away I thought the worst, especially when I saw a crowd of people on the island all gathering around a little boy, who was about four.

“I couldn’t safely stop and get out to see if he was okay, so I was relieved there were already people helping.”

She continued: “When I saw on social media that the driver didn’t stop I was in total shock.

“It made me so angry to think that someone could do such a thing to anyone, let alone a little boy.

“I can’t stop thinking about what happened and really hope he has a quick recovery.”

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “One ambulance was sent to the scene and the patient was transported to Basildon and Thurrock Hospital for further assessment and care.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Officers were called to the scene at 4.10pm on Wednesday, after reports that a child had been injured in the incident, which occurred near Bargain Booze.

“The boy did not suffer serious injuries, but the driver of the car involved failed to stop at the scene, continuing to drive towards Pitsea.

“We are looking to trace the vehicle, believed to be either a small silver or metallic gold Mercedes with a 66 number plate.

“Anyone with information which may have captured the collision, is asked to call Basildon’s Local Policing Team on 101 quoting the incident number 760 of 20 November.”

Others at the scene reported the child was left bruised and bloodied by the car.