CENTEREACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island man who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident last February was pleading Thursday for the person responsible to turn himself in.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Steven Acquaviva, 54, was struck by a pickup truck on Feb. 12 as he was walking to his car in East Garden City.
The wheelchair-bound man and his family, who live in Centereach, showed CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan the dramatic security video of the frightening crime.
“I saw my life pass before my eyes,” Acquaviva said.
Acquaviva, still unable to walk, remembers little of the night in February that left him with a shattered pelvis and fighting for his life. Now home from the hospital, he just viewed video of the dreadful incident caught on his company’s security camera.
“I saw me get hit. I saw me get thrown, and then I saw, you know, everybody coming over to me after that,” Acquaviva said.
Acquaviva was walking out of work at 6 p.m. Feb. 12, and was crossing the street to get into his car and drive home to Centereach – when a pickup truck seemingly barreled in out of nowhere and slammed into him – sending Acquaviva head-first and unconscious onto the concrete.
“I could have died,” Acquaviva said. “You know, people were around me.”
The stunned drive of the pickup then slammed on his brakes and came to Acquaviva carrying a white blanket to cover him. But as Acquaviva’s boss and fellow workers came running out of the welding shop where they work, the driver apparently panicked, got back into his vehicle, and slipped away.
“The worst part is, for all I know he thinks he could have, might have killed me and I’m still alive, I’m here. I think he needs to come forward, man up to what he did,” he told Hall.
“He could have died, but thank God he didn’t,” Acquaviva’s wife, Monika Acquaviva, told McLogan. “If (the driver) is a family man, he would want the same thing – just to come forward so we can get closure.”
With a broken pelvis and wrist, torn ligaments in his knees and shoulders, a damaged eye socket, and 120 stitches to his face, Acquaviva has been undergoing hours of physical and occupational therapy.
He said his goal is “to be able to get up and work to support my family. What I can do after I’m healed – that’s up to God, I guess. I just appreciate all the phone calls of support, everybody on Facebook, everybody that’s praying for me.”
Police said the fleeing vehicle was dark-colored and two-toned. The hit-and-run driver was described as a man in his 50s wearing a blue jacket and red hat.
The victim and his family want the driver to know that the hit-and-run was not fatal, and that their Easter will be made whole if they can get closure.
Detectives ask anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.
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