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Berks County hit-and-run survivor demands justice

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 30 2014 06:05:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 31 2014 04:53:03 AM CDT

Seeking justice

Twenty-one-year-old Mark Stitzer spent two days in the hospital, and he'll wear a back brace for months.

The Wernersville, Berks County man has nine bulging disks and four compression fractures in his spine.

"It's a miracle I'm even walking with how bad my back really is," he said.

Last Saturday around 9 p.m., Stitzer was riding his motorcycle on 9th Street in Reading when he says a car in the left lane next to him cut him off near the intersection with Franklin Street.

"It was almost like he wanted to get around the guy in front of him as soon as possible, whipped it almost right into my lane and his car was far enough cocked that really it took up the whole lane," Stitzer explained. "There was nothing for me to do other than try to stop."

He downshifted and hit the brakes. His tires locked up and his bike started skidding.

"I was within a foot of the back of his car and it was a really split second decision, I was either going to hit him and fly over, or lay the bike down," shared Stitzer.

He laid his bike down and his body slid for about 15 feet. His head slammed into the tire of a car parked along the side of the road.

"From that moment, I had immediate and intense pain in my back," Stitzer described. "Probably the worst pain I ever felt."

He was taken to the hospital, and has a long recovery ahead of him. He'll know in a few weeks if he needs to have back surgery for his injuries.

"We're hoping that it all heals," said Stitzer. "Just kind of taking it day by day at this point."

Reading Police are investigating the accident. Stitzer says the driver who caused the wreck didn't stick around after it happened and was in a dark blue four-door sedan.

"He cut me off, no turn signals, he passed on the right and caused a pretty severe accident," he said.

Stitzer and his family just want the driver to take responsibility for the crash. His siblings are even offering a cash reward.

"Right now it's at $600, anything, any information that helps lead to the persons, to their coming forward and facing the music for what they did for me."

If you know anything, please call Reading Police.