Tulsa Police looking for suspect in a vehicle-pedistrian accident in east Tulsa

Friday, November 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The driver was speeding down a residential street in East Tulsa when he jumped the curb and ran over a 19-year-old man who was walking his dog with his little brother.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says witnesses say the truck left the road, barreled across this yard and crashed into Joseph Rigsby then slammed into this mailbox, then sped off down this street. Even though this is a major setback for Rigsby's family, they're just thankful he's alive. Joseph Rigsby is a month away from his 20th birthday and going to be a father in March, never did he plan on this, a smashed right femur and two surgeries within a week after a nightly walk with the dog turned into a hit and run nightmare. "My brother hollered and I turned my head about three-quarters of a turn and I saw headlights and I went up on the truck. Everything went so fast.”

The driver then sped away, leaving Joseph on the street, bleeding, not knowing if the person he hit was alive or dead. Cozy Collins, Victim's Sister: "I could not believe someone could do this to another human being. They have no respect for human life." The driver also hit a brick mailbox; its still leaning from the impact, the woman who lives here says this residential street is more like a raceway. Nicki Unertl, Neighbor: "They drive fast, 40,60,80 miles an hour on this road. They run the stop sign, they don't care."

Joseph still has brick marks on his side after being slammed into the mailbox, doctors say he may be off his feet for three months, which has him worried about money with a new baby on the way, but he's still grateful it wasn't worse. "I'm thankful I'm alive. God was looking down on me. I'm really lucky it was only my leg, especially since he hit me and I bounced around, my neck should've been broken or something."

Police suspect the driver was probably drunk because there's a bar just down the street and neighbors say people leave there and drive crazy down this street. The truck that hit Joseph was a dark red Chevy S-10 with silver rails on the truck bed; it will have serious damage to the front grill and bumper.

If anyone saw the accident or knows a truck like this, they can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. They don't have to give their name and they could earn cash reward.