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Fargo man tells father he didn't see vehicle in hit-and-run

Dan Bohmer, left, and his son Justin are shown in this 2006 photo. Special to The Forum

A 25-year-old Fargo man seriously injured in a hit-and-run early Wednesday was able to speak Thursday for the first time since the incident, telling his father he didn't see the vehicle that hit him.

"He doesn't have any memory of what happened," Dan Bohmer said of his son, Justin Bohmer, who remained in serious condition at MeritCare Hospital.

"He said the last thing he remembers, he was just walking down Eighth Street on his way home, and that's all he knows," he added. "He said he didn't see any headlights, he didn't hear anything. You know, he was struck from behind, so ..."

Family members had been unsure about Justin Bohmer's neurological state after he was found about 4:43 a.m. Wednesday bleeding from the head and lying in the middle of Eighth Street South between 12th and 13th avenues.

Dan Bohmer said it was "an incredible relief" to be able to talk to his son about 11 a.m. Thursday after doctors weaned him off a ventilator and removed breathing tubes.

"He seems to be his old self," he said. "I mean, we were kind of kidding around a bit and joking."

"He said, 'This really sucks. I don't want to do it again.' "

Meanwhile, donations and pledges helped push to $3,500 a reward offered by Dan Bohmer for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver who hit his son.

Newman Signs founder Harold Newman pitched in $1,000 after his son, Russ Newman, first matched Dan Bohmer's original $1,000 reward offer.

Russ Newman said he raised his six sons and a daughter in a house on Eighth Street about a block from where the vehicle hit Justin Bohman, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq.

"I just thought it was a good, worthy cause," he said, adding that if the reward isn't claimed, the money will be used to cover medical expenses.

Newman Signs also will advertise the reward on its five digital billboards in the Fargo area until the case is solved, he said.

Dan Bohmer has set up a reward fund at Gate City Bank. Contributions may be dropped off at any Gate City location and should be made out to the "Justin Reward Fund," he said.

Fargo police had no witnesses or vehicle description to release to the public, and they hadn't determined when Bohmer was hit, Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

Dan Bohmer said his son left a friend's place in downtown Fargo about 3:30 a.m. and was on his way home when he got hit. He may have been lying in the street for 45 minutes before he was found, he said.

Lykken said he can't discuss evidence collected at the scene because it's part of the investigation. Police initially disclosed that a backpack, beer cans, hat and gloves were found scattered on the street.

Detectives were looking into whether there were any security cameras in the area that may provide clues, Lykken said.

"If the public has video, please review it and let us know, because there might be somebody we overlooked," he said.

Justin Bohmer's friends are organizing a benefit concert for him later this month, his father said.