CLEVELAND — Friends of Keith Findley are grateful he lived to see another day.
“He is loved by everyone down here,” Natalie Wagner said.
Wagner and Findley's friends are also angry after police said a driver hit Findley as he was crossing the street near the Justice Center Thursday night and never stopped to render aid.
“I got a phone call from him and he was just screaming and it was all jumbled,” Wagner said. “I’m sure he was in shock, pretty intense shock and was just saying, ‘I got hit by a car.’”
Findley was leaving his job at Dive Bar on West 6th Street just before 11 p.m. and nearly made it to his car safely but was instead rushed to a nearby hospital requiring immediate surgery following the accident.
“He was maybe 100 feet from his car,” Wagner said. “It was insane. He was in excruciating pain.”
Findley’s friends and family are hopeful Cleveland police may be able to track down the driver who hit Findley using surveillance footage from nearby businesses.
“The fact that he was hit by a car going over 50 miles an hour is absolutely miraculous,” Wagner said. “I’m so happy that he's still with us.”
A spokesperson for the Cleveland Division of Police said the only description available is that the vehicle is white.
The still photo shows a white car facing northbound right around the time of the crash, police said. Police believe the white car is possibly the vehicle involved in the hit-skip.
Meantime, the restaurant community is rallying around Findley in hopes of offsetting medical expenses through an online fundraiser.
“I think he's seeing some light towards the tunnel to recovery,” Wagner said.
Findley’s close circle is pleading for the driver who hit him to come forward.
“It was absolutely terrible and I hope to never get a phone call like that again,” Wagner said.