Raleigh cyclist injured in hit-and-run ‘unbelievably grateful’ to be alive

Joseph Grubbs (Robert Richardson/CBS North Carolina)
Joseph Grubbs (Robert Richardson/CBS North Carolina)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh cyclist seriously injured in a hit-and-run Oct. 26 said he wants to think the collision was just an accident.

RELATED: Raleigh cyclist’s back broken in 6 places in hit-and-run

Joseph Grubbs, 39, was riding his bicycle along Glenwood Avenue just after 5 a.m. when he was hit from behind by an unknown vehicle.

Joseph Grubbs suffered serious injuries in the collision.

He spoke with CBS North Carolina’s Robert Richardson from WakeMed Wednesday.

“(I heard) the noise of a large vehicle of some sort and just before I could even complete the thought, ‘I’m going to get hit.’ I just remember being airborne and landing, tumbling a bit,” Joseph Grubbs said.

Click to see the uncensored photo.
Click to see the uncensored photo.

The collision broke his back in six places while also breaking his scapula and sternum.

“I knew that my toes still worked, my fingers, that was very important,” he said. “I don’t see anyone stopped anywhere, so I reached around as best I could get my backpack off, where I keep my phone, and call 911.”

A week after being hit, Joseph Grubbs said he feels “unbelievably grateful” to be alive.

“I want to think that it was just an accident, the person was just distracted,” he said. “Surely they know that they’ve hit something or someone, and that something or someone was me.”

His father, Geroge Grubbs, also spoke with CBS North Carolina and asked for the driver who his Joseph to come forward.

“I wish the driver had stayed because my son could have died. But everybody makes mistakes. I realize that and people panic,” said George Grubbs. “Given that, I’m willing to overlook the fact the driver left. I’d like the driver to make amends and call in, and identify themselves.”

George Grubbs said the driver can tell police what happened, and perhaps find some improvements that can be made to avoid bicycle and car collisions.

Joseph Grubbs has already undergone surgery to help stabilize his injuries. Another surgery is scheduled for Sunday.

With the help of a walker, Joseph Grubbs took his first steps Wednesday, a week after the collision.

“I would say to this person, and I don’t know their name, but I’m going to call them friend. I know they did not mean to do this,” George Grubbs said.

Doctors said Joseph will be at the hospital for the next two weeks.

“It’s given me a new outlook on things. I’m very thankful,” Joseph Grubbs said.

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