GRIFFITH PARK (CBSLA.com) — A 37-year-old bicyclist who lost his leg, and nearly lost his life, when he was struck by a vehicle in Griffith Park is raising money to fight what many call an "epidemic" of hit-and-runs.
"It's the worst nightmare you could possibly go through," Damian Kevitt said.
On Feb. 17, 2013, Kevitt was struck by a minivan as he was riding along Zoo Drive. He was then dragged more than 600 feet on an on-ramp to the 5 Freeway for nearly a quarter-mile.
"I very much remember the point where I was thinking, 'I literally have seconds to live or die,'" he said.
Despite losing his right left and suffering more than 20 broken bones, Kevitt vowed to get back on his bike, but wanted to do more with the second chance he'd been given.
CBS2's Rachel Kim reports that he's organizing a charity ride called Finish the Ride to help him complete his journey and aid other injured athletes like him.
"[I'm] using Finish the Ride as a way to raise awareness of bicycle safety and the epidemic of hit-and-runs. It is an epidemic in Los Angeles," Kevitt said.
While he's moving forward with his mission, he occasionally thinks about the driver who almost killed him.
"He's going to have to suffer knowing that he's one of the biggest cowards out there. I'm doing better and flouring and prospering," Kevitt said.
The hit-and-run suspect was in a Toyota Sienna minivan with a "For Sale" sign in the rear window. There is a $25,000 reward leading to the conviction of that person.
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