Hit-and-run driver sought in crash that injured Las Vegas man

Updated April 24, 2018 - 6:03 pm

It’s been more than a month, and John Gierczic still doesn’t know who was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that sped off after his son’s motorcycle crashed.

More than once since March 25, when he was forced to make a decision that would change the course of his son’s life, he has gone out to Blue Diamond Road looking for answers.

“I’ve scoured that area myself,” John Gierczic told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday. So far, he said, he’s only been able to track down video footage of the crash from one nearby business.

On the night of March 25, halfway through his son’s operation, the surgeon walked into the waiting room.

“We want to amputate,” the surgeon told the nervous father, showing him photos of Tim Gierczic’s left leg. His son’s femur was shattered.

John Gierczic weighed his options.

Saving his son’s leg would mean extensive complications and repeated hospitalizations. But sacrificing the limb would change everything for his 27-year-old son.

“I was against it at first, but when I saw the pictures, I knew we had to,” he recalled last week. His son’s left leg was amputated above the knee.

‘He should have stopped’

The weather on March 25 was cool but nice — a refreshing change of pace after nearly a week of strong winds. So the Las Vegas electrician decided to take his motorcycle to work, his dad said.

It was about 8 p.m., the end of his workday, when Tim Gierczic was driving west on Blue Diamond Road.

“He was just trying to get home,” John Gierczic said. And he almost made it.

But while passing the busy road’s intersection at South Torrey Pines Drive, a dark Toyota pickup truck pulled out in front of the motorcycle, trooper Jason Buratczuk said.

According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, Tim Gierczic, who investigators said did not appear to be speeding or driving recklessly, then laid his bike down to avoid hitting the truck.

“The driver should have stopped,” Buratczuk said.

Instead, the truck sped off. Another trooper, Travis Smaka, said the driver would likely face a charge of hit-and-run resulting in substantial bodily harm.

Surveillance video from a business facing Blue Diamond Road showed several people sprinting across a parking lot to get to Tim Gierczic as the truck drove away. He was taken to University Medical Center, underwent surgery immediately and has been in the hospital since.

“We’ve kind of just been living here,” John Gierczic said.

Ups and downs

In the last month, Tim Gierczic has had seven surgeries and spent 19 days in the medical center’s trauma unit.

For a brief moment on Friday, the family finally let out a sigh of relief when he was transferred to an in-patient rehabilitation center. But three days later, he landed back in the hospital for cardiac issues and problems with his blood pressure.

Despite the ups and downs in his recovery, his father said, Tim Gierczic has remained positive.

“He’s got a good spirit,” his dad said. “There are some bad days, but he’s tough.”

Tim Gierczic is about eight weeks out from his last surgery for a skin graft. The family also has been exploring options for a prosthetic leg, and a GoFundMe account has been created to offset the cost.

Buratczuk confirmed Monday that the hit-and-run driver had not yet been identified.

“Somebody’s gotta know something,” John Gierczic said. “We’d love for this person to come forward.”

The family is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Highway Patrol by dialing *647, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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