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Man who lost leg in hit ‘n run accident speaks out – ‘I don’t think I was supposed to survive that’

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis police detectives are releasing surveillance photos of an SUV they believe struck a man on a motorcycle and left the scene, causing the man life-changing injuries.

The victim, Brian Mataya, returned home Monday and spoke exclusively about the incident with Fox2/KPLR-11’s Erika Tallan.

The 42-year-old had just set out to get trash bags and milk at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when he was nearly killed. In an incident report, police said a black SUV--possibly a Ford Escape--struck Mataya riding his motorcycle through the intersection of Hampton and Gravois. Mataya said he had a green light and the SUV driver turned left in front of him and didn't stop.

“I remember every flip, I remember every turn, I remember every skid and every thud,” said Brian Mataya. “I saw my leg in front of me, I knew it was done. it was like in three pieces I could see my whole ankle bone, it was literally separated."

He hopes the driver will turn him or herself in.

“You need to get it off your chest. It's going to be with you for the rest of your life,” said Mataya.

Mataya's collarbone broke and his leg had to be amputated at the knee. Even though his life looks different now, it's not over.

“Here I am, still alive, so there’s definitely something bigger and better for me. I don’t think I was supposed to survive that. I don’t think I should’ve survived that,” he said. “I’m lucky to be here right now.”

Detectives are urging anyone with information on the driver of the black SUV to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

Mataya is a cook at Salt and Smoke. The restaurant community is pulling together to help in through his recovery. On Saturday, August 4, Salt and Smoke is teaming up with 2nd Shift Brewery for the “3rd Annual 2nd Shift Brewery and Salt and Smoke Hog Roast." Fifty percent of all beer proceeds from the pig roast will go to helping Brian.

Unfortunately, Mataya didn’t have health insurance. His family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses.