Paignton hit-run victim: 'How my life's changed'
THE victim of a hit-and-run who was left partially paralysed by a driver as he roller skated in Paignton has spoken about the life-changing repercussions of the collision.
Leroy Hippolyte, 45, has been left with no feeling in the right side of his leg and faces the prospect of a major back operation which could leave him in a wheelchair for a year.
Before the accident in September he was a physically fit and was training for a charity fundraising event.
Now he struggles to get out of his wheelchair and onto crutches for more than one hour a day.
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Police have issued a second appeal to find the driver of the car which hit him from behind in Winner Street (pictured), causing him to somersault into the air and land on the pavement. Mr Hippolyte, a church worker who also runs a music workshop for young people in Torbay, says the impact of the collision has changed his life.
He was roller skating down Winner Street at about 2.50pm on September 13 when he was hit by a car outside the Paignton Washeteria launderette.
He said: "I work for the church and, instead of doing a sponsored run, I was roller skating to raise money. A group of people, one in a wheelchair, was coming towards me and I took a step to the right to let the people past. "As I've stepped to the right this car has come from behind and taken me out in the loading bay. It hit me that hard I have gone up in the air and done a flip, cracking my spine."
The accident happened when Mr Hippolyte had one foot on the pavement and one in the loading bay.
"I tried to get up but the impact was so heavy that I just passed out and found myself in the launderette covered in blood."
The car was a either a VW Golf or Polo which Mr Hippolyte believes was being driven by a woman with blonde hair.
After hitting him, he says the car swerved out into the road and took the next left and has not been seen since.
"I have no feeling on my right hand side of my leg and I am in and out of a wheelchair," he said.
"I am going for another MRI scan at hospital and may need an operation which could leave me in a chair for six months to a year."
Mr Hippolyte runs a music production project for young people but since the accident has had to drastically reduce the hours he can work.
He is also heavily involved with the Riviera Christian Centre in Paignton.
"I just can't get out of the house," he says.
Police have confirmed they have yet to trace the driver of the black car. Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting log 751 of 13/09/12.