Hit & Run victim undergoes 15 surgeries to repair injured leg, asks for help finding driver

Driver pins man between car and Red Box kiosk

DENVER - When Alejandro Lopez went to 7-Eleven to get snacks for his kids, he had no idea his life was about to change forever.

The young father, his two kids and a friend had gone to the convenience store at East 11th Avenue and Yosemite Street to get food and to rent a movie. While waiting in line to pay, Lopez's son accidentally hit his daughter.

"The woman behind us said if he were her son she would take him home and spank him," Lopez said. "My friend told her to mind her own business."

After paying for the snacks, Lopez went out to the Red Box kiosk outside to rent a movie. He says the woman got in her car, backed up, then drove toward him and hit him, pinning him against the Red Box machine. 

"She was pushing on the gas," he said. "I turned around to look then blacked out."

Witnesses called police.

Lopez says he was taken to University of Colorado Hospital and was diagnosed with a broken leg.  He says they treated his leg and sent him home.

He says a day or two later his leg started swelling and became discolored, so he went back to the hospital.

"They gave me some cream and said it was going to be O.K.," he said. "Then it started smelling, so I went to get a second opinion at Denver Health."

Lopez says doctors at Denver Health Medical Center told him he had developed a major infection and that they might have to amputate his leg.

Fifteen surgeries later, Lopez still has his leg, but it is much different.

"They cut off my skin and they're doing skin grafts for my legs," he said. "It's very painful. It keeps me awake at night."

Lopez says the last surgery lasted 15 hours and that they took muscle from his back and tried to graft it to his leg behind his knee.

"It didn't work," he said.

"I would like them to catch that lady," he said. "She shouldn't have run away."

Lopez's attorney, F. Lee Maes, told 7NEWS that the woman was apparently driving an old red Subaru station wagon.

When asked if the collision were intentional, Maes said, "It's easy to infer that it was."

Maes says it's important that police find the driver for two reasons.  "Certainly for the justice side of it," he said. "I do not believe that people should be allowed to escape the consequences of this type of behavior, number one, and number two, potentially there will be some insurance coverage that will help the medical bills in this case."

Maes says his clients medical bills are easily more than $100'000.

Lopez told 7NEWS that the collision has completely changed his life.  He says he is an electrician apprentice who recently purchased a home for his family. He says he's in danger of losing the home.

"I can't go back to work," he said. "I can't make the payments right now."

7NEWS has asked Denver Police if there is any security video of the incident that they might be able to release. A department spokesman says he's checking with the detective assigned to the case.

Maes says he's hopeful that someone who knows something might come forward.

"Certainly this kind of incident might have resulted in somebody bragging or talking about it," Maes said. "We're hoping that some honest citizen will respond to this plea for help and report what they know to police."

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