Fresno surgeon recovering, left asking questions after hit-and-run crash

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A Fresno trauma surgeon who played a vital role in treating Fresno firefighter Pete Dern is hoping a good deed will be returned to him in the form of a tip to police. (KFSN)

A Fresno trauma surgeon who played a vital role in treating Fresno firefighter Pete Dern is hoping a good deed will be returned to him in the form of a tip to police.

He was struck on a bike and critically hurt in February by a driver who left the scene without helping him or talking to detectives.

Dr. William Dominic is still regaining his stamina three months after he was thrown off his bike during a hit-and-run crash in northeast Fresno.

The premiere surgeon, who spends nearly 70 hours a week as the director of the burn unit at Community Regional Medical Center, was left lying in the street at Fresno Avenue near Gettysburg.

"I have some memories of the emergency room and basically my initial evaluation by the trauma team," he said. "I remember being in the ICU for the next week,"

The driver never stopped to help the critically hurt doctor or talk to detectives.

After midnight, Dominic left the hospital and headed home on his bike after finishing his final surgery of the day.

"The period of time that I don't have memory is right around the time of the actual crash," he explained.

Dominic took the same path he always does on the daily trip from the hospital to home. The route is primarily down Fresno Street because he feels it's the most bike-friendly trail.

"I try to not ride late at night but I have lights on my bike that make it pretty visible, they are brighter than most car lights and pretty much impossible to miss," he said.

Fresno Police detectives found one witness who spotted the suspects car, described as a tan or beige Toyota Camry.

Something very odd about it stood out.

"The witness noticed that car was dragging a bicycle, felt that potentially somebody was hit, so, fortunately, that good Samaritan was out, looked around and did find Dr. Dominic laying in the roadway with significant injuries," Sgt. Michael Landon with the Fresno Police department said.

Officers say the car struck Dominic from behind and he slammed into the windshield, badly damaging it before the driver left the area.

"The person may have been drunk, may have been texting, they may have been very sleepy," Dominic said. "I mean, this was after midnight, maybe they worked a long shift, there are a lot of potential extenuating circumstances, but there's no way they didn't know that they'd hit me."

In just a few days, Dominic will be returning to the operating room.

The avid cyclist would like to continue pedaling to and from work.

"I may think about alternate routes, but, unfortunately, in this town the infrastructure is certainly lacking," he said.

"For example, Cedar Avenue is very well marked for bicycles, but it's extremely busy with a lot of cross traffic and traffic out of parking lots which makes it difficult for bicyclists. Fresno Street is somewhat less busy. It's not as well marked for bicyclists."

Dominic is contemplating his options. He is hoping, that in the end, justice will prevail.

"I'm not looking for vengeance, but I think it would be appropriate for this person to feel the full weight of the law because I am concerned they may be a danger to other people," Dominic said.

For now, the investigation has hit a standstill.

Detectives have exhausted every lead. Officers will need a tip to identify and track down the driver who didn't care enough stop.
Related Topics:
newshit and runbicycle crashfresnocommunity regional medical centerFresno - Downtown
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