JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 65-year-old man who was injured in a Wednesday crash that involved a Jacksonville police cruiser was released from the hospital Friday after suffering bruised ribs and a cracked vertebra.
Perry Winters said he is still sore from “getting beat up” in the crash on San Jose Boulevard at Claire Lane.
An 11-year-old boy who was seriously hurt and the driver of the car that hit Winters, 33-year-old Christopher DeArmas, remained hospitalized Friday.
According to Jacksonville police, an officer on a motorcycle tried to pull DeArmas over for speeding on San Jose Boulevard about 15 minutes before the crash, but backed off for safety reasons when he did not pull over.
DeArmas' Chevrolet Cavalier later hit the police cruiser and two other cars, including Winters' Chevrolet Impala, just south of Interstate 295. The police officer whose cruiser was struck was not hurt, but three children were injured, including the 11-year-old boy.
Winters said he was in the turn lane on the way to the Walmart on San Jose Boulevard when he was hit.
“I heard a loud screech, raised up and looked around to see what it was and was hit,” Winters said. “There was a giant explosion, the airbag came out and busted my nose. I was bleeding everywhere. Total shock.”
Winters has several gauze pads on his body and his right eye is still black from the crash.
“My ribs hurt really bad. My L1, my vertebra is cracked,” Winters said. “My back's really sore. I'm sore everywhere just from getting beat up.”
News4Jax found DeArmas has had dozens of traffic citations dating back to 2001, including five for speeding, two for careless driving and two for improper lane change.
Ironically, one was for running a red light at the intersection of San Jose and Claire Lane -- the intersection where Wednesday's crash occurred.
Winters said he's praying for DeArmas' family.
“I'm worried to death for the little kid,” Winter said. “We've been praying for him ever since, well, both of them, but mainly the kid, because he had nothing to do with any of it.”
Winters said he is still waiting for all of the facts to come out from detectives before he and his family take the next steps in his recovery.