Runner loses part of leg after horrific hit-and-run accident

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

An ultra-marathon runner was forced to have part of his leg amputated after a driver struck him in a traumatic hit-and-run.

Elijah Reid was T-boned while riding his motorcycle down a highway. His leg became pinned between his bike and a car before his body was sent skimming across the bitumen.

The 20-year-old had been out riding in his hometown of Boulevard, southeast of San Diego in California, when he was hit about 6.30am on September 1, he told Yahoo News Australia.

“I was traveling east on my motorcycle and a west bound driver on a two lane highway turned into me. I was going about 64km/h,” Mr Reid said.

Elijah had his leg amputated after being struck in a hit-and-run. Source: GoFundMe/Elijah Reid Recovery Fund & Instagram/elijahreid2

“He stopped to pick up damage from the car then fled the scene. I was airlifted to a hospital an hour away.”

“It was all a pretty scary experience”.

With two broken bones in his leg, a mostly detached foot and fractures in his back, it wasn’t long before doctors delivered him the shocking news the bottom of his left leg would need to be removed.

He ended up developing an infection in his foot and doctors were unable to save it.

Despite this, he opted to see the positive side of his predicament. The amputation would shorten his recovery time and give him the best chance at getting back into competitive running.

“At first I didn't really think much of it. From the beginning I thought maybe amputation would be better if I wanted to run again, so it didn't really affect me much,” he said.

Aiming to complete Triple Crown of 200s

The fitness fanatic still hoped to achieve his long-distance running goal to complete the Triple Crown of 200s - three ultra races of 200 miles each (322km) that take place in Washington, California, and Utah, along with two other 100 mile (161km) races.

The runner returned to his crash site, and took a trip to a running track. Source: Instagram/elijahreid2

“I wouldn't say my fitness goals are going to be revised, just postponed for a little,” he said.

For now, he is focusing on his rehabilitation and hopes to soon be fitted for a prosthetic leg.

“My recovery has been a lot of rest. I’m keeping my leg elevated and doing my exercises.”

While his physical pain has been gradually decreasing, the young athlete said the mental struggle had also been tough.

“It's been super painful both emotionally and physically, but the pains are slowly going away. It's just taking time.”

The man who fled the scene has remained at large with police being unable to track him down.

GoFundMe account has been established to help Mr Reid replace his motorbike which was destroyed in the crash.

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