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Hit-and-run victim struggling with medical problems, bills

TAMPA — Richard Crook says he harbors no ill will toward a drunken driver who left him paralyzed following a hit-and-run accident along Bruce B. Downs Boulevard a month after his wedding.

Crook said Thursday he doesn't want to pass judgment.

"I leave that in your hands," Crook, 51, told Hillsborough Circuit Judge Robert Foster.

Crook was unconscious for more than a month following the Oct. 26 accident. He awoke to find his left leg amputated and that he was paralyzed from the waist down. His hospital bills have climbed to $785,000. He said he has no way to pay them or future medical expenses.

Crook said he recently rolled over in his sleep and broke his right leg — which was brittle from his injuries.

Gerald Selke II, 24, of Tampa has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. Crook, who previously was sentenced to 10 years in prison for burglary and trafficking in stolen property, was bicycling to do community service as part of his probation when he was hit. He has a lawsuit pending against Selke.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story.

Hit-and-run victim struggling with medical problems, bills 06/18/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:57pm]
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