HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Cyclist Tom Sovilla was critically injured last June in Huntington Beach when a driver going 60 miles per hour struck him from behind.
The La Habra man was riding his bike down the Pacific Coast Highway when surfer Jack Keith hit him after taking his eyes off the road for a second to check out the waves.READ MORE: Man Shot While Walking Dogs In Hollywood, 2 French Bulldogs Stolen
“Two days after the accident, I was concerned about the driver,” Sovilla said.
Sovilla suffered major injuries and required more than a month of hospital care. He said he doesn’t remember much about the accident, but he heard from family members that the driver was devastated.
“He witnessed the accident, the driver was distraught,” Sovilla said. “So our concern as a family was to let him know, first of all, that I lived. And that long term that I would be pretty much back to normal, or as normal as I could get.”READ MORE: 2 People Killed, 3 Critically Hurt In Violent South LA Collision
Keith said he was unable to sleep because he was so worried about what happened to Sovilla.
When Sovilla’s wife found Keith and shared that Sovilla would survive and that, as a Christian, he did not resent Keith, a friendship that continues to this day began.
“Living by certain principals, it’s one thing to say that you do, but it’s another thing to actually do it,” Keith said. “And, you know, seeing how they handled it has helped me to reinforce my faith.”MORE NEWS: At Least 2 Homes Destroyed When Wind-Whipped Fire Rips Through Bloomington Neighborhood
Keith spent many days at the hospital with Sovilla, and used his skills as a carpenter to retrofit Sovilla’s shower so he could use it during his recovery.