Police need help finding hit-and-run suspect

July 20, 2010 7:39:40 AM PDT
The fact that Jerry Zabodyn is alive is a miracle. What happened to him four months ago Monday night nearly killed him. Now, Zabodyn is hoping someone who sees this story will help catch the person who committed the crime.

Doctors were not sure Zabodyn was going to survive. Now as he progresses, the man charged with running over him is on the run.

The pain is still frequent from the hit and run accident four months ago, but so is his progress.

"It's a miracle that I'm in the shape that I'm in, so I'm thankful for that," Zabodyn said.

Zabodyn was crossing a downtown street after a Rockets game March 19. He was sent flying more than 50 feet by a sedan.

Zabodyn was hospitalized in a coma and on life support. With nearly every bone in his body broken, doctors feared he would not be able to hang on.

It's required a family effort to see him through to this point and his multiple surgeries.

"It's a healing process for us and for him," his son-in-law, Dan Meaux , said. "He just four months ago said that he wasn't gonna make it, and to see him now today, it's a miracle."

He is now alert and going through physical therapy to learn to walk again. A religious man, Zabodyn says his faith helps him persevere.

"Here I could walk one day. Today I can't walk; a multitude of other injuries that were suffered from the situation and it's tough," he said.

As Zabodyn strives to get back to his old self, than man accused of running over him is on the run.

Rogelio Daniel Hernandez is charged with felony failure to stop and render aid. The 39-year-old's abandoned car was found a few streets over the day after the crime. But visits to his home and job have turned up nothing.

"Now that we have a felony warrant for his arrest, he is no longer at that location," said Jerry Cormier with HPD's Hit and Run Unit.

Police believe Hernandez is still in the area. Zabodyn's family wants Hernandez held accountable for the hit and run that Zabodyn still has no memory of.

"It's just amazing how your life can change in a matter of seconds," Zabodyn said.

While he entered the hospital in a coma, he could be leaving as soon as three weeks.


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