Tony Shin, Alex Vasquez
A Marine is called a miracle after he was the victim of a hit-and-run crash. Now, this Marine asks for the public's help in finding the driver who hit him and left him lying on Interstate 15. Tony Shin reports from Temecula for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.
A Marine was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his motorcycle on a Southern California freeway, and police are asking for the public’s help to find the driver of a truck who left the veteran lying in the road.
The crash happened Feb. 7 during rush hour along the 15 Freeway in Temecula.
U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. John Mihelich was driving home from his work at Marine Air Station Miramar. He was about 2 miles from his exit on Winchester Road when, suddenly, a dark green truck swerved back and forth into his lane.
Mihelich -- who returned from a tour in Afghanistan a year ago -- tumbled into another vehicle going 40 mph before hitting the pavement, but was not seriously hurt, which he credits to his motorcycle body protection.
He said it all happened so fast, he doesn’t remember all of the details and at first, he didn’t even realize he’d been hit.
"As far as this guy knows, I could be laying on the freeway still," Mihelich said.
Witnesses said it’s a miracle the husband and father of two was not struck by another car.
The crash happened right in front of Ryka Milo, who pulled up next to Mihleich to protect him from traffic. The Marine quickly walked over to the shoulder and Milo called 911. Milo then tried to follow the truck but lost it at the 15-215 split.
She described the hit-and-run vehicle as "avocado green."
Anyone with information about the crash is urged to call the California Highway Patrol in Temecula.