Church deacon struck by out-of-control car

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A longtime Memphis deacon is recovering at the Regional Medical Center after he was hit by a car outside St. Augustine Catholic Church Thursday afternoon.

Deacon Robert Atkins was about to get into his car when the driver of a pick-up truck lost control along Kerr Avenue.

"He knew he was going to be hit. He tried to move," said wife Gwen Atkins.

The driver barreled into Atkins' parked SUV, flipping it onto its side.

Atkins' pelvis was broken.

Gwen Atkins says her husband remained conscious through the ordeal.

"He was hurting," she said.

The truck went on to smash into a building.

Atkins' son says that when the elderly driver's relatives arrived, they apologized and explained that the driver was partially paralyzed and shouldn't have been driving.

"The way they explained it, he needs help getting into his vehicle. And I think they said he used his cane to use the gas and breaks," Robert Atkins, II said.

The 68-year-old deacon told his family he's not sure why the crash happened, but he trusts God has a reason.

"He said this is a time for him to spend more time with the Lord and listen for what he has for him to do," Gwen Atkins said.

Robert Atkins remains in serious condition. Doctors say he won't be able to walk for three months while his pelvis heals.

Investigators say the driver had no apparent injuries from the crash. The police report doesn't mention his medical condition and there's no indication he might have been under the influence.

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