STEVENSON RANCH (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy says he is grateful at the outpouring of support following a life-changing hit-and-run accident.
Deputy Garrett Rifkin was heading to the LASD’s West L.A. station last month when he was struck on his motorcycle.
“I remember flying through the air,” said Rifkin, who has been with the department for about four years. “I remember hitting the ground. I remember the whole thing.”
Rifkin says the driver got out of his car but left him there on the ground before fleeing the scene. The impact of the crash required his left leg be amputated below the knee. He now uses his prosthesis to walk, working every day to recover with a fighting spirit.
“[I’m] living at my parents’ house again. You know, they’re helping me out a lot, which I can’t thank them enough for,” says Rifkin. But his family says they are the ones in awe of his hard work and determination.
“It’s been remarkable,” said Robert Rifkin, himself a retired LASD captain. “He’s given me spirit.”
“I knew he had character and strength, but this is a whole new Garrett for me. He’s amazing,” echoed his mother Sheri.
His parents are among the hundreds of others, friends and strangers alike, pulling for Rifkin. A GoFundMe campaign started by a friend had already raised over $23,000 of a $50,000 goal Tuesday.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Rifkin. “I’m very grateful. You know, honestly, you look at losing your leg as a bad thing, but it’s made you realize how much you have in life to be grateful for.”
The hit-and-run driver was ultimately found and is facing up to four years in prison.
Those interested in donating to the online fundraiser for Rifkin can click here.