GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Troopers are looking for the driver who struck a bicyclist and fled the scene Saturday afternoon.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police said the crash occurred just before 1 p.m. The bicyclist was traveling northbound on Route 17 just north of Owl Trap Road in Gloucester County when he was hit by a passing vehicle.
The vehicle, described as a dark brown or tan Toyota pickup truck with a camper shell on the rear bed, reportedly continued on. Witnesses said the driver made a U-turn and stopped alongside the victim before taking off, northbound on Route 17.
Anaya said a nearby resident heard the crash and found the victim, who was seriously injured.
“They dialed 911 and then my number right away so I got there before the ambulance,” said Nicki Gray, the victim’s wife.
When she got that phone call Saturday afternoon, Nicki headed straight for her husband’s biking route along 17. And, she prayed.
“I just prayed it was not going to be a paralyzing injury,” she said.
The pick-up truck hit Gray so hard it ripped off the truck’s passenger side mirror. The impact also broke the pedal off Gray’s beloved bike. His body was thrown into the air and landed in a ditch. His wife says she is angry the driver took off.
“I cant imagine what the person was doing or what they are afraid of, but accidents happen,” said Nicki Gray. “You could have stopped.”
R.J. Gray wanted to interview with 10 On Your Side, but the pain from his injuries is so severe, he can’t get out of bed. Gray suffered a concussion and broke five bones in his back.
“He’s very fit,” said Nicki Gray. “The doctor said he must have great muscles, because in all of his years as a trauma doctor, he’s never seen anyone break those bones in his back and not have serious internal injuries.”
Nicki is thankful R.J. was wearing the right equipment. She pointed to his cracked helmet that protected his head, the neon jacket paramedics cut off his body and the best Christmas present she ever bought him — an identification bracelet.
“This is a Road ID, and this is how people at the scene knew to call me,” she said, showing off the bracelet.
Now the Gray family is waiting for another call — from the person who caused them so much pain.
“I would just look at him and say … that’s not fair. That’s a human. That’s my kids’ dad,” said Gray. “You dont do that to a human being.”
The suspect truck is possibly a 2002-2006 Toyota Tundra. The vehicle sustained damage to the passenger side headlight and side mirror. If you know anything about the suspect or suspect truck, please call State Police at 757-424-6800.