Boy in hit and run forgives accused teen driver


by Gene Kang

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 15 at 8:24 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville family is one step closer to justice almost two years since a severe hit and run accident changed a young boy’s life forever.

Michael Marler, 10, is getting around using a walker, his legs were fitted for braces Tuesday. In court that same day, his family faced the teen accused of running into them. The family spoke to WHAS11 News in an exclusive interview.

Michael was surrounded by family, walking in the Hall of Justice, against all odds. They appeared in juvenile court to face Christian Tinker, 18, also known as "Teflon Don" on Facebook.

"It's been almost two years so we're ready for this to be over with," Michael's grandmother, Sherry Marler said.

The life-changing accident happened in June 2011. Thomas Summers, 32, stole a woman's Enterprise rental car at a party.              

Court documents state that Summers let Tinker, only 16 at the time, take the car to another gathering. That is when the teenager crashed into the car on Six Mile Lane.     

"My ribs were broke, my sternum was fractured. Bruising and glass still embedded to this day, in me," Michael’s mother said.

Her son, was in the hospital for months, swelling on his brain, his spleen removed and his lung collapsed.

Summers was charged with theft by unlawful taking and assault.

Tinker faces more than a dozen charges including wanton endangerment, assault and leaving the scene.           

"We don't want this person to do this to anybody else," Michael’s grandmother said.

Despite all this, Michael, unexpectedly told WHAS11 he has no ill feelings against Tinker.

"I forgive this guy,” Michael said.

The Marler's have a civil lawsuit against Enterprise rental, Tinker and Summers.

They will be back in juvenile court in a couple weeks.