DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Andy Parks couldn’t help but become emotional Saturday afternoon while looking at the people around him who came to Durham with their motorcycles.
“It’s really a blessing to see all these people out supporting me and my conquest of getting better,” Parks said through tears.
The 61-year-old said he has had a long journey from the moment he found himself in the hospital. Parks said he was struck by an SUV in the intersection near Chapel Hill Boulevard and Academy Road a year ago in June.
Parks was riding his motorcycle on his way home.
“The only thing that I remember is waking up four weeks later in the hospital. I was in a coma for four weeks,” said Parks.
Parks said he stayed in the hospital for four months but continued daily physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Christina Crosby, a close friend who has been at Parks’ side since the accident, said he had suffered several broken bones, fractures and brain injuries.
“He’s fighting to get back to normal — it’s been a tough 365 days,” Crosby said, adding that Parks has continued to make a miraculous recovery but still has a long way to go.
“It’s so frustrating, too, that we don’t know who hit him and that they would leave somebody and not even call 911,” said Crosby.
Sunday afternoon, Crosby and others headed out to Hillsborough Road for a benefit ride in Durham. Riders not only raised money to help Parks during his recovery but also took a moment to speak about the number of motorcycle accidents and friends they have lost because of it.
“I knew everybody would be here for Andy. He was always the guy that would be there for everybody else,” said Crosby.
As much as he loved to ride, Parks said he doesn’t have the heart to get on a motorcycle again. He said drivers are often distracted and added, “They’re texting and talking on the phone, not paying attention… I’m more scared of that than anything else.”
Even though Parks does not know the person responsible for hitting him that night, he said through his healing he has been able to forgive.
Parks said, “I forgive that person, God forgives him and I do, too. I just hope that person doesn’t hurt anyone else.”
Close friends of Parks said they are hopeful police will be able to find more answers in the investigation. They hope anyone with information will come forward.
An online fundraiser for Parks has raised more than $7,800 of its $10,000 goal.