1 Year After Bicyclist Lost Leg to Hit-&-Run, a Mission to 'Finish the Ride'
Courtesy Damian Kevitt
A little more than one year ago 37-year-old Damian Kevitt was out for a bike ride with his wife on the northeast side of Griffith Park when he was struck and then dragged onto the 5 freeway by a hit-and-run driver.
He slid 600 feet on his back before somehow being released, he told us. But by then the lower half of his right leg was shattered and practically amputated, his right shoulder was shattered, and more than a dozen other bones were broken. His life would never be the same.
See also: L.A.'s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic
This week the church counselor is doing 35-mile bicycle tours and preparing for an April 27 fund-raiser called "Finish the Ride:"
The collision happened Feb. 17, 2013. On Monday, Kevitt said, he and his wife, on their bikes, revisited the scene of the crime. "I took a bike out," he said. "I revisited the site of my accident, and I celebrated."
Despite a $25,000 reward the driver has never been caught.
Kevitt was in the hospital for four months, still undergoes physical therapy, and walks and rides with a carbon fiber and aluminum prosthetic right leg.
He thinks that if the driver had just stopped, he would have escaped with just cuts and bruises.
"My buns of steel didn't hold up too well," he says. "My rear end was pretty much ground down to the bone."
As part of his "Finish the Ride" effort Kevitt will be gathering signatures to support a law by local state Assemblyman Mike Gatto that would revoke the licenses of drivers who leave the scene of an injury accident.
He says his ride is "an attempt to do something to prevent one other person from having to go through what I went through."
How can he get on a bike after all that? Kevitt answered:
Is it bicycling that's unsafe? The thing that's unsafe is hit-and-run drivers. I had an individual who didn't exercise moral responsibility as a citizen and as a member of humanity. The epidemic of hit-and-runs in L.A. is just nuts.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.
- Kabbalah Centre and Its Former Rabbi to the Stars to Pay $177,500 in Sexual Battery Suit
Sun., Nov. 29, 6:30pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:00pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:30pm
Tue., Dec. 1, 7:30pm
- Bicycle Is Returned to Child, but Alleged Bully Bike Thief Is Still On the Loose
- Thanksgiving Travelers Will Enjoy Lowest Gas Prices Since Early 2009