WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a driver who reportedly shattered a man’s prosthetic leg during a March hit-and-run.
According to a previous WPD news release about the incident, a 20-year-old Wilmington man suffered an arm and hip injury in addition to having his prosthetic leg broken on March 14 near Greenfield Grind Skate Park.
Larry Blakley, 20, was performing an ollie skateboard trick over a pothole near South Third and Park streets when he said a suspect hit him with their car.
“Honestly, I thought I was about to die because it was that close to running my head over, and I thank God everyday that I’m not dead," said Blakley.
When the suspect braked abruptly, the victim rolled off the front of the vehicle and the suspect then sped up, running over the victim’s right arm and right leg while destroying Blakley’s prosthetic leg.
“Right after I got hit, I went under the car, and I hopped right back up," said Blakley. "I told them to get out the car. I was pretty mad because I just got ran over. I told them to get out of the car, and they sped off. That’s it.”
Blakely’s friend said the suspect, described as a man in his late 30s or early 40s with a tan complexion and dark, medium length hair, was driving a mid-2000s red Mazda 3 or 6.
“They were heavyset. That was all I could see. I didn’t recognize their face," said Blakely.
Blakely is able to use his damaged prosthetic leg, which he has used since the age of six months due to a birth defect. But he fears the day when it cracks fully and breaks because he said he cannot afford a new one.
“It’s usable, but barely because it’s so damaged from being run over," said Blakley. “I guess I will use it until it breaks, and whenever it breaks, I’ll move to crutches or a wheelchair.”
The cost of a new prosthetic leg is between $30,000-50,000, Blakley said. He used the Shriners Hospital for Children to help him afford a new leg every six months to a year, but now that he is 20 years old — the maximum age for the hospital — he must go elsewhere for healthcare.
“It would probably take me 15 or 20 years to come up with that type of money," said Blakely. “They told me I would have to find somewhere else, but that’s hard for me because I don’t have Medicaid anymore.”
If you have any information, contact the Wilmington Police Department at 343-3609 or send an anonymous tip to Text-A-Tip by texting CRIMES (274637) and starting the text with TIP708.
“They should have been watching out for me because it was a turn," said Blakley. "The pothole was right after a turn so there were no cars when I was going that way. Whenever I ollied, whipped around, speeding, and they hit me.”