MEMPHIS, TN – A Sheffield High School football player is recovering after being hit by two drag racing drivers. Now 17-year-old Darreontae Martin is also trying to help police from his hospital bed.
Martin is still at The MED in critical condition, but his mother says he is trying to speak and offer clues to track down the drivers who put him in the hospital the night of Thursday May 26, 2011.
“He actually grabbed on to the side of the bed, and he was trying to lift himself up, and he kept trying to move his legs,” said Wrechal Currie.
Those are the little victories that count for Martin, who was hit by one car – then run over by another – as he was crossing the street near his school that evening. Witnesses said the two cars were drag racing with their headlights off.
“He has broken bones in his back, in his pelvis and he was run over right below the knee,” explained Currie. "His injuries were pretty bad. It was really touch and go during his surgery. He could have died."
But from his hospital bed Martin offers clues to track down the culprits.
"He wanted to pull the tube out [of his throat] so he could talk because he was trying to write things down, that's how he let us know about the silver Honda," Currie said.
Martin has been surrounded by friends and family since the accident, including teammate Brian Humphrey. Humphrey is helping organize a bus trip from Sheffield High to The MED so other students can visit Darreontae also.
“It's been hard to see my man like that because he had a bright future, still does have a bright future ahead of him,” Humphrey said. “This is just a little roadblock for him right now."
A roadblock that broke Martin’s bones, but not his spirit.
"I'm just glad he pulled through,” said his father, Talmadge Martin. “And I thank everybody for their blessings."
“Even though I was worried, and I know it's going to take some time,” said Currie. “I know he's going to walk."
Martin faces more surgery to repair the damage to his shoulder, arm and his legs. Police believe the cars involved in this hit-and-run are four-door, mid-sized vehicles. There is no description of either driver.