Even Brian Walters is surprised at how far he flew after being struck by a hit and run driver.
“Wow. That far,” he says quietly, as he stands by the Campbellton crosswalk where the accident occurred on the night of Dec. 29.
The 50-year-old knew he had been hit hard. The impact from the pickup truck broke two ribs, punctured a lung, smashed a femur, severely bruised a hip and resulted in 10 stitches to his head.
He’s still using crutches to get around, and last Friday he revisited the spot where the accident occurred: the marked crosswalk between the Quinsam Hotel and Petro Canada gas station, at the intersection of the Island Highway and Maple Street.
He watches pensively as the vehicles speed by and then RCMP Const. Dave Dormuth walks out almost to the middle of Maple Street.
“This is where you landed,” says Dormuth, who stands 10 metres away.
Walters and the officer were back at the accident scene, along with media, to retell the story in the hope someone comes forward with information that can identify the truck or the driver.
“I was on the road screaming,” Walters remembers. “I’m a little guy…I didn’t need this.”
Two nights before New Year’s Eve, Walters was heading to Walmart around 7 p.m., to buy coffee for his common-law wife, when he attempted to cross the highway at the well-lit crosswalk.
It was a stormy night and raining heavily, and Walters admits he was “in a little bit of a rush,” but insists he did check both ways before crossing. He never saw the southbound pickup which struck him and sent him flying.
Walters faintly recalls lying on the road in pain and seeing the driver slow down near the Walmart, before driving away.
“I’ve got a bone to pick with him, if I find the son of a bitch,” says Walters. “I want this individual dealt with in the way he deserves. We’re dealing with a coward.”
Passersby quickly attended to Walters, but were unable to provide specific details about the pickup or even get a licence plate number.
Walters was taken to Campbell River Hospital and later transported to Victoria General Hospital where he spent 16 days recovering.
The accident has taken a toll on his both his body and mind, but he credits his partner for seeing him through the painful days.
“She looks after me,” he says. “If it wasn’t for her, I couldn’t even have a shower.”
Const. Dormuth said the vehicle is either white or a light colour. It’s full-sized pickup and may have an extended cab. There should also be some damage on the front right side of the truck.
“We’re hoping somebody noticed something,” he says.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Campbell River RCMP or Crime Stoppers.