MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time Wednesday, an Army recruiter spoke to interviewers about how he survived being dragged for nearly a mile by a hit-and-run driver.
“Everything we stand up and fight for, this guy just kind of took away,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Torgerson.
Last September, Torgerson and with Staff Sgt. Michael Stroud were walking back to the office after lunch. They were just feet from their building when a driver did the unthinkable.
“We made eye contact with him,” Torgerson said. “So we started crossing and then he hit us. Sgt. Stroud went up and over, and I got dragged underneath.”
Torgerson’s leg got caught in the axel of a Jeep SUV, and he was hanging on to the back windshield wiper so his head wouldn’t hit the street. At one point the driver, 52-year-old Enrico Taylor, stopped and got out.
“He got out. He gave me a quick tug and then kicked me in the ribs,” Torgerson said. “He got back in and continued on driving.”
After nearly a mile, Torgerson broke free and was taken to a hospital.
Police arrested Taylor a short time later.
Last fall, he pleaded guilty and on Wednesday a judge sentenced him to nearly 16 years behind bars.
Torgerson says he will not forgive what Taylor did.
“No, I don’t believe he was remorseful for what he did,” Torgerson said. “I don’t think it was intentional but he had every opportunity to stop.”
Torgerson spent six and-a-half weeks in the hospital with head, shoulder and skin injuries, along with several broken bones.
“Unfortunately, I have to deal with this the rest of my life,” he said. “[Taylor] gets the next 189 months. Then he’s back to doing what he’s going to do.”
Torgerson, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has had four skin graft surgeries on his lower back.
Due to severe headaches and shoulder injuries, he said he’s not able to play with his children – ages 2 and 4 — like a normal dad. And that has been the hardest thing to accept.
Stroud suffered minor injuries during the hit and run.
Taylor has a lengthy criminal record.