GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) - A Furman University police officer is recovering from serious injuries after a crash nearly claimed his life.
According to a spokesperson with the university, the other vehicle involved in the crash was reportedly stolen. The university said the driver of the stolen vehicle fled on foot after Friday's crash.
Furman Police Lt. Victor Rivas is still in the hospital recovering from multiple injuries.
"Nobody could have walked out of that car," Lt. Rivas said.
In a Facetime interview with 7News, Rivas says in a hospital recovering from multiple injuries is not where he thought he would find himself a week ago. He's not the only person who realizes how lucky is he to have walked away from the wreck.
"Victor was transported to the hospital. He sustained significant injuries," said Furman Police Chief John Milby. "By the grace of God, he is alive."
Rivas was on his way to Furman University for Freshman Move-in Day, when he was hit near the junction at White Horse Road and Farrs Bridge.
"I'm kind of entering the intersection at the same time and I can see that this truck is not stopping," Rivas recalled.
The officer says he tried to swerve out of the way, but the truck collided with his car. His Mustang was totaled.
"By the time I woke up, somebody was dragging me out of the car," Rivas said.
Chief Milby tells 7News the driver of the pick-up truck ran from the scene and he later learned the truck that crashed into Rivas was reported stolen.
"Just such a cowardly act to crash into somebody like that and then injure them, and flee the scene," Chief Milby said.
Yet, Rivas isn't holding it against the driver of the other vehicle.
"You almost took my life, but I still forgive you," Rivas said.
With the support of Furman Police Department, Rivas is finding the strength to heal because he's ready to get back to patrolling the campus.
"I miss my students. I love my students," he told 7News.
Rivas says he could get out of the hospital this week, but he'll still be out of work for sometime while he fully recovers.
If you're interested in helping financially, contributions can be made to Susan Bennett at Furman's Office of Spiritual Life.
Please call 864-294-2133 or email email@example.com.
The S.C. Highway Patrol, SLED, and the Greenville County Sheriff's Office are working together to find the suspect. If you have any information you are asked to call investigators.
Furman Police Chief John Milby released this statement on Thursday:
We are anxious to get him back with us, but anticipate a lengthy recovery. We are thankful for all the community support Victor has received and for the help of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, SLED and the Greenville County Sheriff's Office as they work on bringing the person responsible to justice."
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