Tow truck driver who lost leg in hit and run: ‘I hope they catch you’

Jack Deaton speaks Sept 15, 2017, from his bed at Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis tow truck driver, who had his leg amputated, is sharing his story for the first time after being hit by a semi on the interstate.

It happened two weeks ago on I-70 near the Harding Street exit before 2 a.m.

Indiana State Police said the driver of the semi kept going and didn’t bother to stop.

The 53-year-old tow truck driver told 24-Hour News 8 he’s been in the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital recovering from his injuries ever since. Doctors had to amputate his left leg.

Jack Deaton hopes the driver of the semi sees this story and knows the pain and damage the driver caused by hitting him and leaving the scene.

“I just can’t believe this happened to me,” Deaton said. “I really don’t.”

Deaton is speaking publicly from his hospital bed about the early morning that changed his life forever.

“I had the van. I hooked it all up. I walked over to the side of it. Next thing I know, the semi, I don’t know where he come from but he came along and got me and just twist me,” Deaton said. “I yelled so loud that he hit his brakes, but he got me again and he just kept on going again.”

Dash cam video from his tow truck shows the 18-wheeler semi that hit him as he was getting ready to move the truck bed on the right shoulder of the interstate.

“All I kept saying was ‘Lord, help me, Lord, help me’ because (of) my granddaughter,” he said. “I love her to death and that’s the only thing that kept me alive.”

Deaton said he would not be here today had it not been for a customer on scene.

“She came over and she seen my leg all twisted up and everything and I was bleeding really bad and she’s sitting there like I’m a nurse,” he said. “So she had a pink hoodie and she covered me up if she did not cover me up another truck would have got me. They would have got me I would be dead for sure.”

The nurse helped him while they waited for an ambulance to arrive, but Deaton said he knew his left leg was gone.

“I already knew it when the ambulance came and pick me up and I looked down and seen my leg twisted it was laying on top of my other leg,” he said.

Deaton said he doesn’t understand why the driver of the semi didn’t do the right thing in the first place.

“He seen my lights on he knew I was doing a job he didn’t have to do that he had two lanes to go over,” he said.

Deaton had just returned to work from a vacation with his family in Indiana Beach.

“I miss spending time with my granddaughter like I used to and playing with her before I go to work,” he said. “It’s just hard, plus I got a handicapped son that I take care of, too. It’s just wrong somebody would do somebody like that. I mean, I know the world is really mean, but something like you just ruined my life.”

Deaton said he’s thankful he’s alive and now has a message for the driver of the semi.

“I hope they catch you,” said Deaton. “If they don’t, the Lord will take care of you I promise you that.”

Indiana State police are still looking for the semi. It’s described as a black cab with a white trailer and has writings on the side.

Deaton said he remembers seeing the letters N-R with the number 94.

If you know anything about this hit and run please call Indiana State Police at (317) 899-8577.