GRAPHIC WARNING: A Christchurch man seriously injured in a hit-and-run says he will be using the experience to educate others on being more vigilant on the roads.
Civil engineer David Tata, 34, was dropped off on Marlborough St in Phillipstown to visit whānau at 7.14pm on Saturday.
As Tata crossed the street, he saw a car coming towards him from about 100 metres away.
“As I paced across the road I heard the engine sort of rev up a bit more … and then I briefly looked [up] and just saw car lights basically right on me,” he said.
All Tata remembers after being hit is looking back at the car before collapsing on the floor at his brother’s house.
“I just remember yelling out, ‘he hit me, he hit me’. initially, I thought one whole side of my face had gone and that I was walking in heaven, to be honest.”
Tata was rushed to Christchurch Hospital and would later find out he had a broken neck, large gashes on the left side of his face and grazes along his legs and body.
He was released the following day and is now at home recovering. Doctors told him he would be in a neck brace for at least the next month.
Tata said the incident was “life-changing” and he was now using it to teach others about being safer on the roads.
“It’s definitely made me wary of crossing roads now and moving cars. I take some of the fault, I could’ve been more swift across the road, but at the end of it I’ve forgiven the [driver],” he said.
“It’s made me more aware of my surroundings and a bit more vigilant about where I walk.
“I think it’s time I educate younger people like my kids and nephews and nieces because you’re not invincible and I found that out on Saturday night. Anything can happen at any time and your life can change in a split second.”
Police are urging the public to come forward with information following the hit-and-run.
A police spokeswoman said the man was hit by a dark coloured vehicle.
The vehicle’s front left headlight was likely to be damaged due to the impact, she said.
“Police are seeking anyone who may have seen the crash or observed a vehicle driving erratically in the area at the time.”
Anyone who can help is asked to contact police on 105 and quote file number 200714/4658 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.