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Local cyclist survives hit-and-run, says 'it is a miracle'

Posted November 19, 2011

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— More than a year after a devastating hit-and-run threatened his ability to ever walk again, a local bicyclist and runner is back on his feet in a way some may have never expected. 

In July 2010, Carl Demarais was riding his bike in Johnston County when he was hit near the intersection of White Memorial Church Road and Landmark Road. The driver left Demarais on the side of the road.

He suffered a shatter pelvis, several broken ribs and concussion. Two Good Samaritans came to his aide that afternoon, stopping and calling 911. 

Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive. 

"Everybody tells me it is a miracle," Demarais said. "Luckily, the helmet saved my life."

Surgery repaired Demarais' pelvis, but doctors told him it could be six months before he could get back on his feet and even several more months before he would have to learn to walk again. 

To say Demarais didn't stick to the timeline set by his doctors would be an understatement. 

Hit-and-run victim back on his feet Hit-and-run victim back on his feet

He was standing within three months and learning to walk not longer after, trying to get back to the active, athletic lifestyle he lived before the accident. 

"I am a pretty motivated individual," Demarais said. 

One year to the day after his accident, he returned to that familiar stretch of road in Johnston County, once again riding the 20-mile course he did on the day he was hit. Demarais even stopped to take pictures at the scene of the accident that nearly took his life. 

"The same bike on the same road and actually rode the same 20-mile run," Demarais said. "There was trepidation when cars passed that I did not have before."

The long road of rehab culminated this past weekend when Demarias finished the Outer Banks Marathon, completing the 26.2-mile journey from Kitty Hawk to Manteo in just over six hours. 

"It is a moral victory more than anything," Demarais said. "It opens your eyes to the value of life."

Demarais will have to undergo one more surgery so doctors can remove metal that was placed in him to stabilize his injuries.

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  • All the People Nov 21, 2011

    Great story! Glad to hear that he is back to the activities he enjoys!