Westwood hit-skip driver pleads guilty as victim’s struggle continues

Family of hit-sip victim seeking help from community

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A man pleaded guilty Monday to fleeing the scene of a crash in May that left 36-year-old Darik Klepper with serious injuries.

The crash occurred May 28 when Klepper, riding his moped, was hit by a red truck while turning left from Harrison Avenue onto Kling Avenue.

Klepper was the victim of a hit and run accident while he was riding his vintage moped home from the store.
Klepper was the victim of a hit and run accident while he was riding his vintage moped home from the store. (Source: Danielle Drewry)

Klepper says the guilty plea brings some closure, but that he and his family continue to struggle five months after the crash.

“Sometimes I have really good days, and sometimes I have really bad days physically," he said.

Among the injuries Klepper sustained in the crash was a broken femur. Several surgeries and a months-long recovery later, he walks with a cane and heavy limp.

“I can’t work,” he said. “If I’m up for an hour, I have to sit down for half-an-hour or more.”

Klepper was laid off from his job because of the pandemic and was on unemployment with the added federal unemployment compensation benefit of $600 per week when he was hit.

“Things were looking ok when I first got home because we were still getting that allotted extra amount,” Klepper said.

Then the federal program ended without an extension, and Klepper says things have been tight, forcing him into a one-income household.

His family has set up a Facebook fundraiser to cover essentials and are open to anyone willing to donate hand-me-down clothes for their kids. They’ve also set up a registry at Target for essentials.

“We don’t want anybody to feel like, ‘Oh, they’re just people asking for money,'” Klepper confided. “If they just want to donate, like, some laundry detergent, or toilet paper or anything that are, like, extra expenses.”

While the family is trying their best to get by, they are placing some additional hope in the legal system. Klepper is bringing a civil injury suit against the driver for punitive damages.

Meanwhile, the driver who hit Klepper, Douglas Wilson, will be sentenced Dec. 8. He’s facing 6-18 months in jail.

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