Vallejo teen seriously injured during a sideshow makes unexpected recovery

Tyler Ingersoll of Vallejo used to love watching sideshows, but now he's speaking out against them.

The 19-year-old was struck by a hit-and-run driver as he stood as a spectator last month and is now recovering from life-threatening injuries.

"I'm grateful to be alive," said Ingersoll. "That's one thing I am."

He suffered a traumatic brain injury and wore a protective helmet as he spoke with KTVU about the chilling collision.

Ingersoll's injuries were so bad his family didn't know if he would survive. Now they are warning others about the dangers of sideshows.

"My skull was fractured here," said Ingersoll as he pointed to his injuries. "I don't have no skull right here. I have cuts on my head." 

His mom, Desarae Reiswig-Greer, shared videos from the sideshow Ingersoll attended on the night of July 3 near Six Flags Amusement Park. She said witnesses took videos of the black convertible mustang with silver rims that struck her son and took off.

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"It swooped me and flipped me upside down,"said Ingersoll. "A real man wouldn't have driven off like that."

His fiancée and brother rushed him to the hospital, and it was ten days before the family knew if he would survive.

"No matter how much fun these kids think it is, it's dangerous," said his mom. "They're not being smart,"

Just recently, Ingersoll started to be able to walk again after he was moved here to Sutter CPMC Davies Campus in San Francisco for rehabilitation. 

He said he still suffers from headaches, but for the most part, he's improving by the day.

Ingersoll says he's looking forward to raising his 9-month-old daughter along with another baby on the way with his fiancée.

"We knew we shouldn't have been there," said Alyssa Gastelum, Ingersoll's fiancée. "Things we get caught up in when we're young. It's all fun until somebody gets hurt."

When asked what he plans to do with his second chance at life, Ingersoll replied,"Not going to sideshows. I can tell you that."

Ingersoll is scheduled to be released from the rehab facility in a few weeks. He still has one more surgery to go, and is expected to make a full recovery.

He plans to get married in October.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU