By SHERI GASSAWAY
Laborers’ Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey thought it was business as usual at the union’s June meeting until he looked up and saw Local 110 member Doug Hindle who was nearly killed in a hit-and-run incident last year walk through the door.
“I wasn’t expecting him and just couldn’t believe it when he walked in,” Willey said. “We’re all so happy he’s back, and we’re proud of the significant progress he’s made over the last year.”
In the early morning hours of May 18, 2017, Hindle was critically injured while working on a paving project in Affton when he was struck and run over by a pickup truck that fled the scene. He was just two weeks away from his planned retirement.
His injuries included a ruptured aorta, fractures in his arms, legs, hands and ribs, a torn intestine, a broken pelvis, bruised kidneys, bleeding from the brain and second-and third-degree asphalt burns on much of his body. He underwent eight surgeries to repair the damage.
LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY
Hindle was finally released from the hospital in December and has been in outpatient physical and occupational therapy eight hours a day, five days a week ever since. He has one more surgery to undergo on one of his fingers.
“I’m getting stronger every day,” he said. “I can walk with a walker, and I’m starting to remember the night of the accident.”
Hindle’s wife Kathy, who has been by his side the entire time, said she wishes the person responsible for the incident would come forward so they could put the ordeal behind them.
“I don’t want this happening to anyone else,” she said. “It’s a miracle that Doug is still here. The doctors didn’t think he would make it.”
St. Louis County police are still investigating the incident and asking for help in identifying the vehicle and person responsible. The reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver is at $31,000.
Laborers’ 110 is contributing $25,000 to the reward and Laborers’ Locals 42 and 660 each have added $2,500. Additionally, St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information on the incident as it does for all felony cases.
The vehicle involved is described as a Chevy or GMC white extended cab pickup truck. At the time of the accident it had front-end damage and may have been missing a driver’s side headlight. The hit-and-run occurred at 12:45 a.m. on May 18, 2017 near Heege Road and New Hampshire Ave.
Anyone with information is urged to call the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.