02/07/11 — Local man recovering from hit and run crash

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Local man recovering from hit and run crash

By Gary Popp
Published in News on February 7, 2011 1:46 PM

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Sarah Lynch keeps the cards that have come to her son, Gary, on the mantel at her home. He was severely injured in January while pushing his motorcycle alongside Old Mount Olive Highway.

The family of a Wayne County man struck by a car last month while walking along Old Mount Olive Highway is still waiting to see whether he will make a full recovery.

Gary Lynch, 48, remains in critical condition at Pitt Memorial Hospital a month after being hit by a car that did not stop.

Lynch had been pushing his motorcycle north on the shoulder of the highway about 1:30 a.m. when he was hit by a car allegedly driven by Clyde Russell Sneed, 22, of Mount Olive, who was later charged with fleeing the scene of an accident and driving while impaired.

Lynch, who lives on Outlaw Road in Dudley, was found by a passerby and taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital before being transferred to Pitt with near-fatal injuries. He has suffered severe head injuries, a broken pelvis, two broken legs and two broken arms.

His condition is still critical, said his parents, Sarah and Donald Lynch, of Ridge Drive.

"He has not moved his arms or legs since day one," Mrs. Lynch said today. "He is not able to speak, but he can nod yes or no to commands by reading our lips."

Since the accident, Lynch has received more than 60 pints of blood.

Mrs. Lynch said the ordeal has been stressful for her family. Her son underwent surgery almost every day for the first two weeks he was in the hospital. Family members have made daily trips to Greenville to be with Lynch despite the fact that visiting time is limited.

"It has been absolutely horrible," his mother said. "His right leg has a huge area of flesh missing, bone is exposed. The left leg was recently infected. With injuries like that, you never know how it is going to be. You stay in constant turmoil."

But despite the tragedy, she said her family has come together to support Gary, and one another. Lynch has a wife, Sarah, and two children, Jordan and Jenna Ford.

"When something like this happens to our family we rally," Mrs. Lynch said.

She praised the rescue workers and the hospital staff at Pitt.

"There is somebody by his side every minute. The staff have been wonderful to us and to him. I completely trust those people," she said.

And she wants to thank the person who discovered her son lying beside the road and called for emergency services.

"I would like to thank the Good Samaritan that found him and meet the person and give him our most gracious thanks. It would be a connection that we would have for life," Mrs. Lynch said.

Mrs. Lynch said she cannot help being frustrated that there is not more she can do for her son, other than be by his side.

"I am very angry," Mrs. Lynch said. "It is something terrible that has happened to my son, and there is nothing I can do about it, nothing."

Minutes after Lynch was struck, Sneed, who was driving a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix, was pulled over nine miles away, near Spence Avenue and U.S. 70, for speeding by another Highway Patrol officer. His car showed damage to the right front panel and right side. Officers quickly linked his car to the earlier hit-and-run. His alcohol-blood level was .13.

Sneed had a first appearance in Wayne County District Court the day after the accident. He was held in the Wayne County Jail for nearly two weeks until he was released after posting a $17,500 secured bond. His next court appearance April 18.