Man Hit by Car: ‘I Feel Like I Got Hit by the Whole Chargers Team'

Carlos Rodrigues of Chula Vista shared his harrowing story exclusively with NBC 7

A Chula Vista man who was hit by a car while mowing his lawn compared the crash to being tackled by the whole San Diego Chargers team.

Carlos Rodrigues, who shared his harrowing story exclusively with NBC 7 Monday night, said he is not sure how fast the black Ford Focus was moving before impact, but it had speed enough to take out 20 feet of fence, destroy a concrete pillar and knock Rodrigues, his mower and garbage can 15 yards backward.

Now, Rodrigues’ road to recovery is focused on spanning the distance between his couch and kitchen. 

“I'm really beat up. I feel like I got hit by the whole Chargers team without wearing any kind of gear,” he said.

Photographs were taken after emergency crews arrived, one of which shows Rodrigues strapped to a gurney board.

The driver of the Ford Focus standing behind him is 31-year-old Michael Torres, who now faces two counts of DUI. He was treated for minor injuries after the crash and then was booked in San Diego County jail.

He has since been released to await his first court appearance.

Rodrigues’ wife Chris walked the distance from where the car hit her husband to where he landed -- about 45 feet away.

“You just ruined a family for what you did. You hurt us to the core. For me, I regret, have sorrow, sadness, anger and a lot of anger,” she said.

Rodrigues said the most surprising part was that at the time of the collision, he wasn't in the street; he was on his lawn.

“It's really not something you think about when you are mowing your grass,” he said.

His injuries, while not life threatening, may be slow healing. He suffered several cracked ribs, a punctured lung and bruising from his knee to his hip.

The rest are deep scrapes on his elbow and back. Still, Rodrigues is counting his blessings. “I owe it all to God. I believe he was looking out for me,” he said.

Like Carlos, the mower needs some repair. The next time the uses it, he plans to approach it far more cautiously.

“I just feel very fortunate and I am not going to take another day for granted,” Rodrigues said.

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