Utah father recovering in hospital after hit-and-run crash shares his story

Posted at 9:59 PM, Oct 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 23:59:14-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A man is recovering at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray after being the victim of a hit-and-run last week in Salt Lake City.

Michael Chatwin told Fox 13 he looked both ways before crossing the street the evening of Friday, September 29th at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Emery Street in Salt Lake City.

He was on a longboard and said it was only his fourth time riding it. He said he had been learning to skate in order to bond with his kids, especially his sons who really enjoy the activity.

Next thing he knew, Chatwin said a car hit him and he flew about 30 feet through the air.

"I heard my daughter scream, 'That's my dad! That's my dad!' I dropped my phone, ran outside. My husband was laying in the middle of the street in like a fetal position," Michael's wife, Melissa, recalled.

Their 12-year-old daughter saw the whole thing, and even retrieved her father's shoe, which flew off at impact, from the neighbor's yard. They said she has been horrified about the incident.

“It could have been way worse," Michael Chatwin said. "I could have been dead. I really could have been dead. I’m glad I’m still here."

Melissa Chatwin said, for a 30-mile-per-hour road, people often drive too fast and carelessly through the area.

"When they see people in the crosswalk, they don't stop," Melissa Chatwin said.

She told Fox 13 there have been numerous times cars have not stopped for her daughter, so they walked across the street together.

She said you have to wave your hands and yell to make sure cars stop. While the crosswalk is clearly marked with painted lines and yellow signs, the orange flags pedestrians were once able to use to aid in visibility keep getting stolen.

The Chatwins would like to see a button with flashing lights installed to help get drivers' attention.

Michael Chatwin has been in the hospital for a week and has had one surgery on his leg so far. Fortunately, he said, his doctors told him he is in full recovery.

They expect to do a bone graft in coming weeks, and the Chatwins said they hope to get him back home with his family in the next four to six weeks. Michael said his kids visit, but he misses them and his dog. Melissa has been with him day and night since the incident.

Salt Lake City Police have located the suspected vehicle in the hit-and-run but have not yet found the driver. The suspect is described as a white man in his 60's who was wearing a yellow or green construction vest at the time.

"It really upsets me that he didn't stop to see if my husband was alive or dead," Melissa Chatwin said. "He could have took a man away from his family."