DALLAS - A disabled man may need to have his legs amputated after someone ran him over and drove off while he tried to cross a north Oak Cliff street in his wheelchair.
Doctors say 42-year-old Joey Salas is in good condition but will have to have surgery to address an infection in his legs.
Despite the despicable act, Salas says he forgives the driver who hit him but hopes whoever it is will see this story, come forward and take responsibility.
It may be difficult to understand Salas due to his cerebral palsy but his physical wounds speak for him.
“It's upsetting to me they just left him to die like an animal. It's a human being,” said Angie Dally, Salas’ sister. “It makes me wonder if they would do that to someone they loved.”
Salas was having dinner at a Mexican restaurant off busy Twelfth Street in north Oak Cliff Wednesday night around 8. He was heading home in his power wheelchair and was crossing Adams Avenue when a driver slammed into him, throwing him onto the ground.
“I looked both ways and didn't see anything,” he said. “And before I know it, I was kissing a white truck.”
Albert Mata, who lives across the street, ran out to help.
“All I heard was a bang,” he recalled. “I looked out my door and saw a white truck speeding towards the stop sign, and he didn't stop. He turned east on Twelfth Street, and that was it.”
Mata says the truck, which he told Dallas police was a white Ford F150 with LED lights, never slowed down.
Salas was rushed by ambulance to Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where ER doctors put pins in his legs. There’s now a chance he will lose his legs.
During the interview, Salas tried to make light of the possible prognosis. He said if he loses his legs, at least he won't have to spend money on shoes.
But deep down inside, Dally says Salas is scared and so is she.
“I mean, he's disabled as he is,” she said. “And to hear that he's going to lose his legs?”
Salas works part-time at the Dallas Can Academy. He doesn't have medical insurance, so his family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical bills and buy him a new scooter.
Investigators believe the truck that hit Salas may have some damage on the front from the impact. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Dallas Police Department.