Spokane dad loses leg, portion of remaining foot following hit a - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane dad loses leg, portion of remaining foot following hit and run

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's a case of horrible luck and even worse timing. Back in September, a man was hit by an out of control SUV near Market and North Haven. In seconds, he not only lost a good portion of his leg and remaining foot, but also the means to support his son.

"Normally where there's an accident you hear screeching tires, but there were none," Santana Rivera said. "There was no time to react."

Santana wasn't crossing the road, he wasn't even near a sidewalk. He had taken just a few steps out of the shop where he was working on his motorcycle only to find terror.

"The car just kind of spun around after he impacted the other car," he said. "He hit the curb, then came straight at me."

The next thing he knew, blood was everywhere.

"Life changed instantly," he said.

But his was able to continue because of a stranger.

"Somebody came and put a tourniquet on my leg," he said. "I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that."

Deputies believe the driver responsible is 34-year-old Andrew Clifton. They believe he hit another car before ramming into Santana. They say he did not stick around to own up to what he did to the victims.

"He took off running," Santana said.

Running, something Santana may never be able to do again.

"I still have the knee, but my leg is gone from there down," he said.

He also lost multiple toes on his remaining foot and fractured his back.

He was rushed to surgery as his 15-year-old son waited filled with worry. It was familiar territory for the teen who lost his mother in a crash about five years ago. Santana said his son was his first thought.

"He's an amazing kid, couldn't ask for a better kid," he said.

His second thought was how was he going to support his boy?

"The first thing I said when I got out of surgery is 'I have to go, I have to get back to work,'" he said.

For years, Santana was in construction.

"Work is a big part of my life, that's my livelihood," he said. "It's my passion."

Recently, he was told the career he loved may be nothing more than a memory.

"You know what, I'm not accepting that," he said. "I'm going to do what I can and figure it out from there. But I'm not accepting that, it's just not happening."

It hasn't even been three weeks since the crash.

"Hey, life goes on," he said. "You got to be strong."

He's doing some odd jobs, and so is his son.

"I'm kind of doing a little bit or work right now, painting," he said. "My kid is working with my buddy on weekends to make ends meet."

The days are nowhere near easy, but if you ask Santana, he'll tell you, at least he has another one.

"It could be worse, way worse. I'm here I'm breathing."

Deputies continue to search for Clifton. If you know where he is, call 911.

If you'd like to help Santana Rivera, click here : https://www.gofundme.com/team-rivera?teamInvite=OpffbYosaAjeaEnxZ5LughQeKB9bkXExaXEexccsV2LfndqtHMWWFEuwmJ8pM632

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