MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The victim of a hit-and-run says he’s not angry with the man who nearly killed him.
Police say a drunken driver hit Luis Cruz-Guzman as he crossed the street in Minneapolis on Sept. 1.
The driver didn’t stop.
An off-duty police officer saw the crash and caught up with Kaleb Conway shortly after the crash.
Conway is charged with criminal vehicular operation and driving while impaired.
Cruz-Guzman remains at HCMC, three weeks after the crash.
For him, the simplest movements now bring great joy.
A shift of the leg or a twitch of the hand are all signs of how far he’s come over the last three weeks.
“He was close to dying and over two weeks later he recovering,” said Geronimo Guzman Cruz, a cousin of Cruz-Guzman. “It was amazing. It was just amazing.”
No one knew if Cruz-Guzman would survive the head injury that sent him into a 10-day coma after a suspected drunken driver hit him.
“I don’t remember, maybe it’s the impact with my head. I try remembering with my girlfriend what happened,” Cruz-Guzman said with his bilingual Spanish-English attorney Erika Flores translating.
He can’t remember, but his girlfriend, Zilma Turpeau, can’t forget.
The car just missed her as they crossed Lake Street after a night of dancing.
“And then when I noticed, I saw my hand go up and took him away. And then I saw him on the ground,” Zilma Turpeau said, describing the crash.
Zilma now refuses to let go of that hand. It’s support that’s helping Cruz-Guzman overcome his injuries.
“Still have pain, but I still have dizziness,” Cruz-Guzman said.
Life in a hospital bed isn’t an easy adjustment for a 23-year-old who was always on the go.
“I was running, I was doing other activities, going to the gym, having fun,” Cruz-Guzman said.
While some would place blame, Cruz-Guzman and his loved ones don’t feel anger towards the driver who put him there.
“I would tell him to have more consciousness to think about it, to have more care,” Cruz-Guzman said.
For this family, a near-death experience has given them a new perspective on life.
“Just try to be better person every day,” Cruz-Guzman said.
He is unable to work during his recovery. His medical bills have already surpassed $200,000.
If you’d like to help, please visit Cruz-Guzman’s GoFundMe page.