Biker hit by car in April making progress, learning how to walk, talk again

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 30-year-old man has been in rehab recovering in the hospital for over a month after being hit while riding his bike along Beach Boulevard.

Joanie Deal-Molasso said when her son Dakota Deal was hit while riding his bike last month, her family’s world was turned upside down.

“My heart just shattered I just immediately started praying because I knew prayer was going to be the only thing that pulled him through,” Deal-Molasso said.

She said each day her son is improving, which is a big difference from the days following the crash when she was wondering if her would make it to see another day.

The father of two was riding his bike on April 13 along Beach Blvd just east of St. Johns Bluff Road on his way to the gym when he was hit.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, Deal was riding west in the bike lane but veered out of it for unknown reasons.

A driver was unable to avoid him and hit the biker, the report stated.

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Dakota Deal (WJXT)

“They had to put him in a medically induced coma because he had a traumatic brain injury and there was bleeding and swelling on his brain,” Deal-Molasso said.

Deal-Molasso said at times her son’s fate was touch and go. He had to have part of his face reconstructed because it was shattered. He had to have a tracheotomy to have a breathing tube inserted into his windpipe and had to be placed on a feeding tube.

He is learning to walk and talk again.

It’s been hard for his children to see him in this condition.

His mother said things started looking better when he was transferred to the rehab facility two weeks ago.

Although it’s been a difficult time, Deal-Molasso’s faith has helped her get through this difficult time.

“I think he knows his bible verses by heart. I can say any bible verse like 4:13 that’s the day he got hit. Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. So I knew it was like a little message from God telling me he’s going to make it through this,” Deal-Molasso said.

His mom also said there are more good things happening for her son. This coming week, Deal might start to eat pureed food.

The family is raising money for hospital and rehab bills.

About the Author:

Khalil Maycock joined the News4JAX team in November 2022 after reporting in Des Moines, IA.