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1 Year After Bicyclist Lost Leg to Hit-&-Run, a Mission to 'Finish the Ride'

1 Year After Bicyclist Lost Leg to Hit-&-Run, a Mission to 'Finish the Ride'EXPAND
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."

His "Finish the Ride" fund-raiser will benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

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.

See also: Lose Your License For a Minor Hit-&-Run Under New Proposal


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.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews .


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