A bicyclist struck by a driver and left for dead is speaking out for the first time since the hit and run wreck in June.
Donald Faulkner was struck by an SUV near South Rutherford Boulevard and Mercury Boulevard around 12:30 am June 16 in Murfreesboro.
Faulkner told Nashville's News 2 he does not remember the accident, but saw video of it captured by nearby red light cameras.
“I was just a bit freaked out to see that someone basically wasn't paying attention to what was in front of them on the road,” he said. “I remember waking up in Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation. I felt ok.”
The 22-year-old was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He had serious head injuries.
Days after the wreck Murfreesboro police located a gold Hynduai Santa Fe Crossover SUV investigators believe hit Faulkner last month, but officers have not made an arrest.
Murfreesboro Police Spokesman Kyle Evans declined to answer questions about the investigation when contacted, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.
Faulkner is living in a 24-hour rehabilitative center in Gallatin. He has injuries to his head and suffers from some hearing loss.
He is also taking speech therapy as a part of his recovery.
“I am just having a conversation and we are doing a lot of reading,” he said. “I am working on Sudoku puzzles. I have about 100 of them done.”
Faulkner's family has been working to prepare for his long term care. His doctors estimate he will need around the clock care for up to seven months.
“It is just a swirl of events so we are taking it one day at a time,” Faulkner's sister Rebecca said. “He has been real resilient for what he has been through.”
She continued, “But we are making sure to check in with the doctors every step of the way.”
Faulkner is still surprised that the person who hit him did not stop to help.
“They might have been freaked out a little bit and were scared to come back,” he said. “I don't know what type of person just keeps going.”
People at the scene helped protect Faulkner from oncoming traffic following the wreck.
“Someone was able to watch out for me to make sure no other cars on that other street ran over my body,” he said.
Faulkner's steady recovery is encouraging to his friends and family. A number of his friends on Facebook were glad to see him posting on his page.
“Anyone who checked the information on Facebook and who are praying for me, I am thankful for that,” he said. “I miss a lot of my friends. I have been able to chat with a couple of them.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Rutherford County Crime Stoppers at 615-893-STOP.
A cash reward up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and identity of the suspect.
- June 20, 2012: Police seize vehicle involved in hit-and-run accident
- June 16, 2012: Hit-and-run driver flees after striking bicyclist