A Brandon man who was hit by a moving vehicle Saturday near The Crystal Grill is still recovering from his severe injury.

James Robert Jeffries, speaking Tuesday by phone from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, said he felt “like I’ve been run over by a Sherman tank.”

Jeffries, 78, was struck by a white Chrysler 200 while crossing the street at the corner of Carrollton Avenue and Lamar Street, Deputy Police Chief Marvin Hammond had told The Taxpayers Channel, which broke news of the hit and run Tuesday night.  

The incident was captured by a Crystal Grill security camera, The Taxpayers Channel reported.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the police had made no arrests, according to The Taxpayers Channel. The police could not be reached for details Wednesday.

Jeffries, a former Greenwood resident who moved to Gulfport in 1954, was in town to meet with a Greenwood High School classmate, Leo Murphree, for lunch at The Crystal Grill. He said he had just finished an airplane job in Schlater.

Jeffries said he parked his car and looked both ways before crossing the street. He said he saw a white car approaching him that appeared to be slowing down. But the next thing he knew, he was flying through the air.

“Man, I thought I was dead,” he recalled.

Murphree, who had arrived at the restaurant before Jeffries, said he heard someone say a man had been hit by a car. He went outside and saw Jeffries lying in the street.

“It’s just a miracle that he was even alive,” Murphree said, explaining that he had seen no blood or any other visible injuries aside from a broken leg.

He added that Jeffries had no cellphone in hand that would have distracted him as he crossed the street.

Jeffries was transported to Greenwood Leflore Hospital and later to UMMC.

He said his left humerus bone was shattered and medical staff had to put a rod in place to keep his leg in formation. An artery also was cut, causing him to lose a lot of blood quickly. He’s had about 18 pints of blood put into him, and he’s been  wheezing.

On Monday, Jeffries said he may be discharged to another hospital for rehabilitation care that would last about two weeks. Aside from his difficulties, he said he’s grateful for the help he’s received.

Jeffries isn’t bitter about what happened to him and doesn’t  believe it was intentional. Still, he said he’s “confused” why the driver left the scene.

“I couldn’t believe that people didn’t stop. Gee whiz, they just left,” he said. “I could never imagine doing that.”

•Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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