‘I wish it was a dream’: Hit and run victim shares story

Jimmy Baldwin discusses being the victim of a recent hit and run as his damaged helmet sits beside him (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Briana Rucker
Staff Writer

Jimmy Baldwin's daily life was altered forever on Friday, Sept. 14 when he became a victim of a hit and run in Starkville.

"It feels like a dream, and I wish it was a dream," said Baldwin.

Baldwin said it was a football game weekend that he looked forward to participating in, until it took an unexpected turn.

As he was going down Louisville Street, he saw a car yield to merge onto Highway 12. Baldwin was headed straight through a green light when he noticed the car creeping.

He was hesitant about continuing, then the car stopped. He continued through the intersection where he noticed the car continue as well.

"As I see him approaching me I tried to turn toward the Walgreens to hit the corner instead of being hit. Then I flip over, I lose consciousness for about a second--maybe due to like just the shifting gravity of the blood flow to my head," he said.

He landed on his side and suffered bad road rash.

A bystander yelled, "Call 911!" although he could already hear the faint sound of sirens. People ran to the scene and traffic came to a stop.

The paramedics raced to Baldwin where he recalls them making sure he still had movement and feeling in his toes. He was placed on a gurney and given a neck brace before being rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

Looking up, all he could see were lights from police cars and the ambulance. He also saw the damage to the front of his cherished motorcycle.

"I felt pain in my leg and pain in my back. My back was the big thing and it still is a big thing right now," said Baldwin.

Doctors ordered scans and he did not suffer any serious injuries, but according to Baldwin's pain he feels that he has fractured ribs.

He said It is hard to breathe, sit and stand. Laying in the bed is also painful, but that is all he can do.

Baldwin's 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle was “his baby.”

He invested in gold accents for his black bike because of his love for the Pittsburg Steelers. As an "adrenaline junky,” he liked to listen to Disturbed and Eminem while riding.

"I paid for that motorcycle through donating plasma, and I scrapped metal back in Maryland," he said. He rode his bike as a stress reliever from life as an affiliate veterinarian student at MSU.

Baldwin has since visited the scene of his accident and constantly looks as he drives around to see if he notices a banged up vehicle similar to the older, tan Sudan that struck him.

"The fact that he ran off…it just bugs me."

He credits his $700 Arai helmet for him being alive today.

"If it wasn't for this helmet, who knows what brain function I would have, memory…Could I continue in school? How much time would I need to take off?," Baldwin said.

Baldwin knows that it's one thing to be able to walk away from an incident like that, but it's also another to be able to walk away and function. He hopes for the individual who struck him, or anyone who has any information to contact authorities and help seek justice for him and other victims of hit and runs.

No arrests have been made in the case and an active investigation continues.