JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Loved ones are rallying behind a lawn service worker whose leg was amputated after a hit-and-run crash on the Westside.
Barthel Pickett, 60, has been in the hospital since July 11, when the accident happened on Miss Muffet Lane.
“I didn’t believe what I was hearing. I just could not believe that his leg was knocked off and that’s what I heard on the phone and just, like, 'Lord, please,'" recounted Rose Pickett, his wife. "And when I get to the hospital, basically, I find out what I was told was true.”
Rose Pickett told News4Jax that her husband was getting ready to do a lawn job when it happened.
"He was standing up in front of his truck, talking with the client, and they were standing there having a conversation. The car hit him from behind, so he never saw it coming," she said. "The next thing you know, he’s pinned against his truck and his leg is flying up in the air."
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the woman driving the car struck the lawn care worker before hitting a fence and running off.
Despite the chaos, Rose Pickett said, her husband's survival instinct kicked it.
“He was laying there and he was just thinking, 'Lord, if I don’t do something, I’m going to die.' And he said, all of a sudden, his military training kicked in. He was in the Navy. And he said, 'Steve! Steve! Get yourself together! Take your belt and tie my leg.' And he’s, like, 'The leg is gone.' And he’s, like, 'Just pick it up and tie it as tight as you can.' So he got himself together. He tied his leg," Rose Pickett said.
"Otherwise, he would have bled out on the scene if his leg didn’t get tied up.”
She said her husband’s right leg was amputated, and he has six broken ribs and a fractured spine. She has been by his side in the hospital for all six of his surgeries.
"I know that it could only be God that saved him and I’m just thankful that he’s alive," Rose Pickett said. "In spite of everything that’s happened, he’s still here with me.”
She added she's hoping the driver who permanently injured her loving and caring husband will be caught.
"I just want the driver to know that what she did is awful and that people should not go around hurting people," Rose Pickett said. "You should stand up and face it instead of running away.”
Rose Pickett said it’s unclear when her husband will be released from the hospital. He’s expected to have a couple more surgeries and then will go to rehab.
Despite her husband's long road to recovery, he is in good spirits, she said.
Some members of the couple's church have set up a GoFundMe page for Barthel Pickett.