Family wants answers after hit and run leaves man in the middle of the road

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News 12 @ 11 o'clock / Friday, August 14, 2015
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A 67-year-old man is recovering after being hit by a car and left in the middle of the road. It happened Thursday morning, in Columbia County, a little before seven o'clock in the morning at Old Augusta Highway and Lone Oak Road.

It's been a tough two days for Leslie Griffin. Thursday her husband of forty-eight years, Jesse, was left in the middle of the road after a car hit him. "He was out walking and someone knocked into him. Knocked him into the middle the road and just left him there like a piece of garbage," she said.

Jesse walks along this road every morning. He started last year; it was his daughter's dying wish. "He made her a promise that he would start taking care of himself," Leslie said.

Old Augusta Highway and Lone Oak are neighborhood roads, and pretty rural, so there are no sidewalks. But that's never been an issue before. "Everybody he sees he waves to and they all know that he's out there walking," she said.

But Thursday morning, he never made it home from his walk, so Leslie went to find him. "When I saw him out there in the middle of the road my heart just went up in my throat because I was just scared so bad," she tells News 12.

She wasn't the only one who spotted him. "My grandchildren got on the school bus, and it drove them down to right where their grandfather was laying in the road," she said.

Luckily, two nurses live nearby and were able to tend to him until EMS came. Now he's in the hospital with two cracked vertebra, nine broken ribs, staples in his head and much more. "Well he was lucky because he could've killed out there," Leslie said.

Jesse was knocked unconscious by the car, so he has no idea who hit him and left him there. "You know it's an accident, that's why they call them accidents. But you have to at least check on someone, and they just left him out there. He could've been dead out there," she said.

For now, Jesse's fighting to get back on his feet and fulfill his promise to his daughter. His wife is grateful for another day together. "We're just mighty blessed that he did make it through this," she said.

And this was just two days after the couples anniversary, certainly not how they imagined spending their anniversary weekend. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says they have no leads in this case, and no witness to the accident has come forward.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me page. Jesse has already had to go through surgeries to reattach part of his ear. His wife expects him to go through weeks of physical therapy for his leg, neck, and back.