CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Mark Carley struggles daily to get in and out of the tent he lives in in these Chester woods. He says it has always been a tough way to live, but an accident last November completely upended his life.
He was hit by a Chesterfield police officer on Route 10 not far from Interstate 95. Carley was on the way to fill his propane tank to stay warm.
This police report reveals the Chesterfield police officer was driving 43 in a 35mph zone with no siren lights on. He swerved to avoid hitting two people, and when he did, he hit 48-year-old Carley.
"I flew 45 feet up in the air. 177 staples, I had a broken pelvis, I had a broken nose, a broken hand, which I still have, and I got a concussion. I was scarred up and I can't walk" Carley explained.
A Chesterfield police spokesperson says the officer stopped to render aid.
After a hospital stay, Carley says he was put up in a Richmond motel for a few weeks, but then had to go back to his tent after he learned the motel was being used for people with COVID-19.
He and his attorney want Chesterfield County’s insurance to cover the accident.
Carley has no insurance and hasn’t had any rehab for his extensive injuries--which he says he needs to walk again.
" They know I’ve been hurt and everything, but they still haven’t helped me out. They know what happened. I’m on film where I was thrown up in the air. They haven’t even been by to check on me. I don't ask people for anything, but this situation, I do need help. I’m not used to being confined to a wheelchair" Carley added.
He told Problem Solvers that he is disappointed in the county and is still waiting to hear if their insurance will take care of the incident. The man says before the crash, he was working at a nearby restaurant.
He says his company is still holding his job, but he must first heal and recover. His physical limitations prevent him from doing the work.
The CBS 6 Problem Solvers contacted Chesterfield County inquiring about the status of Carley's case. Chesterfield spokesperson Susan Pollard sent the following statement via email.
“A claim has been made to the county by his attorney. There is a potential for litigation and to comment further would be inappropriate.”
CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone who is not involved in the case, says because police have qualified immunity, it’s going to be tough for Carley.
"In order to sue them, the evidence must establish a higher level of negligence. It must be gross negligence and that’s a hard burden to meet.
If it was dark out and wasn’t well lit, then you’d be looking for other factors, like was he distracted? Were the headlights on? Simple things like that. What was his speed?" Stone said.
Carley says the night he was hit by the Chesterfield police officer, he was carrying a propane tank. He says when he flew into the air, the tank, he believes hit the car of someone passing by.
He desperately wants to track down that person, and the two other pedestrians or anyone who witnessed the crash. He wants them to contact him so he can piece it all together.
Carley says he just wants to get the help he needs to get his health and life back on track. "I want to get out of the woods. Find a little apartment and be able to move around and stand up. I'm ready to walk" he said.
CBS 6 News inquired about whether there was dash cam video from the officer's car that may have captured the crash. No one from the county answered that question.
We were told by a police department spokesperson that body cam video from the officer does exist and CBS 6 would be able to view it soon.
We will continue to follow this story and provide updated information as it becomes available.