A Tampa Bay area man is struggling to stay alive after suffering serious injuries when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the back of his motorcycle then dragged the mangled wreckage and motorcyclist for ten blocks down a St. Petersburg street.
Joe Yardley just happened to be walking down 30th Avenue North when he heard the crash and looked up. Yardley recalled what happened next.
“I see a white pickup truck heading my way and sparks are just flying from the truck, at first I thought the motor had dropped, but as he got closer, I could see there was a motorcycle underneath the truck.”
The motorcyclist, Alexander Galindo, was dragged for a 100 feet.
But, Yardley didn’t know that and started running after the truck, catching up to the driver when the vehicle stalled at a traffic light blocks away. Yardley says the driver frantically tried to restart the vehicle.
“When I realized he was going to try and take off again, I didn’t want him to hurt anyone else, so I ran around to the driver’s side and I opened up the door there, put the truck in park and took the keys out of the ignition,” said Yardley.
Before police arrived, Yardley started questioning the pickup truck driver, who police identified as Luis Perez, age 49.
“I asked him, ‘Do you realize that you hit somebody?’ and he said, ‘Yes’ and I said, ‘Why didn’t you stop?’ and he said, ‘Because I thought I killed him.’ ”
Yardley and another man kept Perez at the scene until officers showed up.
“The blood level results that we received from the medical lab three hours later were .238. That is nearly three times the legal limit, so he was seriously impaired,” St. Petersburg Police Department Spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez.
The motorcyclist remains in critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center with a broken back, other broken bones, and a head injury.
Perez is facing a list of charges including DUI.
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