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Man's medical records could end question of who hit cyclist

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times: Man’s medical records could end question of who hit cyclist

Man, now dead, may have struck cyclist

By Elaine Marsilio
Posted January 27, 2010 at 6:23 p.m. , updated January 28, 2010 at 6:04 a.m.

CORPUS CHRISTI — The mystery of who hit and critically injured cyclist Barb Savell could come down to the medical records of a man who died 13 days after the July wreck.

Police believe they found the truck that struck Savell as she rode along Ocean Drive on July 11.

Officers have interviewed the truck’s registered owner and that 27-year-old man’s mother. The man’s mother said her husband was driving their son’s truck the day Savell was hit, according to an affidavit.

The 65-year-old man died of liver cancer on July 24, police said.

Police now are looking at his medical records in an attempt to verify that he could have been driving the truck.

Savell, who spent seven weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries, said she continues to pray for the driver. She also said she wants justice in the case, and the truth will come out in time.

“It’s in God’s hands,” said Savell, who in recent months stopped using a cane. “I’m not going to worry about it.”

Police want to ensure that the man wasn’t in the hospital because of his liver cancer, whether he suffered injuries consistent with a traffic accident and if doctors indicated whether he was capable of driving.

Police said they obtained the records Tuesday.

“I’m trying to use whatever information is available to determine who was driving,” said Sgt. David Schwartz.

Police had gone months without a lead in the case, only knowing that a dark-colored truck likely was involved.

But on Jan. 13, Schwartz got a Crime Stoppers tip about a black, 4-by-4 Ford F-150 at a home in the 2800 block of Lawnview Street. Schwartz found it parked in a driveway. It was damaged as if it had been in an accident, Schwartz wrote in an affidavit seeking to seize and search the truck. Its hood was missing, the right headlight assembly was missing and the right front fender was damaged.

The truck and its hood, which was located on the side of the garage, are in police custody to be analyzed, police and the affidavit report.

Police also talked to the truck’s owner about the damage, but the 27-year-old tried to change the subject and he appeared to be breathing heavily, Schwartz said.

“The body language was telling me ... that he knew something,” he said.