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Bicyclist in hit-run near Griffith Park left for dead, loses leg

February 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Damian Kevitt used to be a healthy, avid cyclist. Now, he's in intense care and missing a leg.

Kevitt was the victim of a hit-and-run in which he was struck, dragged and left for dead as he was riding his bike by a freeway onramp near Griffith Park.

"My son went onto the windshield and the hood," said Kevitt's mother, Michele Kevitt Kirkland. "When the guy sped up, he was knocked underneath the van and his body was dragged almost a quarter of a mile onto the freeway.

Kevitt's left leg had to be amputated and his right leg have to be, too. In all, he broke 20 bones. He has undergone several surgeries and will likely need more.

"Thank goodness he was wearing a helmet or he'd be dead today," Kirkland said. "Even with a helmet, he's lucky to be alive."

Physician Dr. Elijah Wasson said he happened to be driving by and saw Kevitt's body on the freeway.

"I would say these are the worst injuries I've ever seen in my professional career," Wasson said. "I've been working in a county hospital for 12 years."

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. The CHP said it needs help identifying the driver, possibly a male.

"We want to find this man - I can't call him a man, I can't call him human," Kirkland said. "Please look inside, find what humanity you can and please come forward."

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Altadena station at (323) 259-2010.

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