Los Angeles News

Bicyclist stays positive after near-fatal hit-run near Griffith Park

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Damian Kevitt will have to learn to walk on a prosthetic leg, possibly two, but he knows how lucky he is to be alive.

The 36 year old and his wife were riding their bicycles to the Los Angeles Zoo on Feb. 17 around 11:35 a.m. when a minivan made a hard left, struck Kevitt and dragged him 600 feet down the Interstate 5 onramp. The driver kept going.

"I remember waking up or coming to consciousness ... feeling him speed up as he's going onto the 5 Freeway and I'm pinned underneath his car and I'm thinking, 'I may not live through this much longer,'" Kevitt said from his hospital bed Tuesday.

An off-duty doctor saw Kevitt on the side of the freeway and provided aid. Kevitt had on a helmet, but the collision broke 20 bones and crushed his right leg. Doctors had to amputate below the knee. His left foot is missing tissue and skin and may also need to be amputated.

Still, Kevitt said his injuries could have been worse.

"I could've been paralyzed from the neck down," he said.

The road rash was so severe, it was down to the bone on Kevitt's left elbow, and his buttocks will need skin grafts.

Kevitt said he will heal, but he wants the drive to surrender to police.

"Unless he comes forward or proper justice is done, he'll never be able to walk away from it," Kevitt said.

Kevitt remains upbeat thanks to the support of his wife, family, friends and even strangers, as well as by focusing on the future. He hopes his accident will make the road a safer place for cyclists.

"If it results in people's awareness of cyclists and willingness to share the road more, then OK, then I've done something good with this," he said.

The California Highway Patrol is now looking for a male suspect driving a minivan, possibly a Toyota Sienna, which had a "for sale" sign on it.

A $25,000 reward has been offered for the arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run driver. Anyone with information related to the case was asked to call the CHP at (323) 259-2010.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
hit and run, griffith park, los angeles news, melissa macbride
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