Hit-and-Run Survivor Turning Tragedy to Triumph
Los Angeles hit-and-run victim Damien Kevitt is spearheading a movement to make the streets of Los Angeles safe for everyone. He thanks everyone who has backed his campaign for making a difference—hit-and-run crime was down by 16 percent in Los Angeles last year.
It is a miracle that Damien Kevitt lived to see the 3rd annual “Finish the Ride” in Los Angeles Sunday April 10. The fun-filled afternoon at Griffith Park of bicycle and running races, walks and events for roller skate, roller blade and skateboard enthusiasts was conceived by the 39-year-old athlete when he was fighting for his life at County/USC Medical Center in February 2013.
“I was hit and dragged by a car,” says Kevitt. “Dragged nearly a quarter of a mile on the streets of Griffith Park onto and down the 5 Freeway where I was left in traffic lanes … with over 20 broken bones.”
His right leg had to be amputated and he was hospitalized for four months, recovering from the many injuries he sustained.
City Councilman Tom LaBonge offered a $25,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for any information on the driver of the minivan that struck Kevitt. (His assailant has never come forward or been identified.)
Kevitt shared the details of the hit-and-run and his recovery in a 16-minute interview with the SweetRideUSA cycling blog in 2014.
While in the hospital, Kevitt learned of the epidemic of hit-and-run crimes in L.A. and decided to do something about it. He launched a movement to make the streets safe, calling it “Finish the Ride” to signify his determination to survive and complete the February 2013 bike ride that nearly took his life.
The inaugural Finish the Ride bike ride that took place April 27, 2014, began in the parking lot of the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles when Kevitt works. Speaking at the kickoff event were U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Los Angeles City Councilmen Mitch O'Farrell and Tom LaBonge.
Gatto took on the mission to combat hit-and-runs, authoring legislation that California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in October 2015. The legislation allows local police to tap into the “yellow alert” system—they can now use digital freeway signs to ask drivers to help identify hit-and-run suspects.
“For those of you who have participated in Finish the Ride, I thank you,” says Kevitt. “You’ve made a difference. You’ve already dropped hit-and-run crimes in Los Angeles by 16 percent last year.”
For more information on Finish the Ride visit its website at http://finishtheride.com or contact Damien Kevitt at the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, 4810 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, phone: (323) 953-3200.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax