Driver sought in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist injured - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Driver sought in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist injured

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Unedited video of the incident can be seen below.

Warning: Some may find footage of the accident to be graphic.

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Authorities sought the public's help Thursday to identify and locate the driver of a SUV involved in a weekend hit-and-run crash that left a 39-year-old motorcyclist with a fractured leg in Pacific Beach. 

Nathan Raaka was riding his motorcycle last Saturday when he was hit by a gray SUV making an illegal U-turn.

"I did a front flip over a car at probably 35-40 miles an hour so I was lucky I was wearing a good helmet," Raaka said.

Surveillance cameras in the area captured images of a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee making that U-turn in the 4500 block of Mission Bay Drive into the path of Raaka's southbound motorcycle around 2:15 p.m. Saturday, according to San Diego police and Crime Stoppers.

His motorcycle struck the back of the Jeep and he was ejected, landing in the roadway with a severe leg injury. 

"I was sitting there and then looked down at my leg and I saw it at a 90 degree angle," Raaka said. "Then the pain started to set in and I and started screaming. I remember screaming a lot because the pain was so bad."

The crash shattered Raaka's leg in two places. He also injured his arm, back and hands.

The driver of the Jeep stopped initially and ran up to Raaka as he was lying in the roadway, but immediately turned around, got back into the Jeep and drove off, authorities said. 

The fact that the driver left frustrates Raaka.

"On a personal level... I don't think he did the right thing," he said.

The driver was described only as a man wearing a blue shirt. He was behind the wheel of a 2014 or newer Jeep Grand Cherokee that may have had a yellow paper license plate or an out of state license plate.  

"This may have been an accident, but that person decided to leave the scene of an accident - especially involving major injuries to the motorcyclist - what could've been an accident is now a felony crime," said San Diego Police Officer Mark Herring. 

This couldn't have come at a worse time for Raaka, who was about to take his final exams as he studies Aerospace Engineering.

"This is one of the first times in my life where I feel like I have a solid future," he said. 

Raaka hopes the driver turns himself in and is sorry for leaving the scene.

The vehicle was last seen entering the southbound lanes of Interstate 5. The Jeep may have moderate rear-end damage and a shattered back windshield. 

Anyone with information on the case or who may have recorded video of the crash was asked to call police at 858-495-7808. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or by contacting the agency online at

[To view video on YouTube, Click Here.] 

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