Victim to hit-and-run driver: ‘You shouldn’t be hiding’

Trever Towne at Spectrum Health Butterworth on Dec. 23, 2016.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Five days after a hit-and-run driver left him pinned in his car, a Greenville man is still in the hospital with life-altering injuries.

Trever Towne has already missed his son’s fifth birthday and knows he won’t be home with him for Christmas.

On Friday, he had a message for the hit-and-run driver, who still hasn’t been caught, and he took comfort in the gift given to him by his son, Brighton. It’s an old Teddy Ruxpin, the same one that was Towne’s “best friend” when he was little.

“He’s a pretty cool bear,” Towne said in an interview from his bed at Spectrum Health Butterworth. “I got the Teddy Ruxpin for my third birthday and I gave it to Brighton for his third birthday, and he wanted to bring it down to me so I’d have someone to cuddle with.”

“He’s in better shape than I am,” he said of the well-worn bear.

Towne, 31, was driving to work about 8:45 a.m. Monday. He sells ads for Value Clipper Magazine around Greenville.

He thought it was a Jeep that blew the stop sign at Miller Road and West Fenwick in Fairlplain Township, but state police say the parts left behind came from a 2003 to 2007 white and gray Ford Expedition XLT.

“It was like they sped up right as they got to the stop sign, like they just sped up and went through it,” he said.

The SUV first hit a woman’s car, which then hit Towne’s head on. He then hit the SUV, which sped off.

“It kind of makes me sick, the whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. Most people would have got out and helped. Rather than him driving off, he could have got out and helped me get unpinned from inside of my car, so I didn’t have to crawl out of it.”

He’s already gone through one surgery.

“I have a collapsed lung, broken knee, broken ankle,” he said, and two fractured vertebrae.

Doctors say they can’t operate on his right ankle until the swelling goes down.

“Each of these rods are in my leg, screwed right through the bone,” he said, pointing to a right ankle that looks more like a pin-cushion.

He says his 5-year-old son doesn’t quite understand what’s wrong with dad.

“Normally, we’re just wrestling and horse-playing and now he can’t get even go near me, because he can’t run into me,” he said.

Towne said he doesn’t know how he’ll work after he’s out of the hospital. He said he can’t collect unemployment because he was self-employed.A GoFundMe page has been set up for him.

“Anything would help,” he said. “I don’t know what to do at this point. I’m trying not to think about it.”

His message for the hit-and-run driver:

“Just turn yourself in and apologize. You permanently messed up my body. You shouldn’t be hiding. You can’t run into two different cars and then not have any repercussions from it.”

State police say the white and gray SUV sustained heavy front end damage and could be missing fog lights and a head light. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lakeview post at 989-352-8444.

“People have to know where he’s at, where his car is at,” Towne said.