David Sucharsky remains under intensive care for injuries he received Friday night, when police say an impaired driver's pickup truck turned in front of the 20-year-old's motorcycle in Biloxi, causing numerous broken bones and other injuries.
The Gulfport High graduate and part-time employee of O'Reilly Auto Parts in Biloxi is expected to remain hospitalized at least two weeks, said his father, Frank Sucharsky. He said his son's injuries include a partially collapsed lung, severe concussion, broken forearms, two breaks in a leg, broken thumbs and several broken bones in both hands and feet.
He said the crash happened sometime before 10:30 p.m. Friday at U.S. 90 and St. John Avenue.
Frank Sucharsky said he walked in his son's room in an ICU trauma unit in Mobile about 4:30 a.m. Monday, and for the first time since the accident, "He knew it was me without me telling him," the father said.
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"He said, 'Daddy, I love you.'"
"It just cuts me," Frank Sucharsky said. "He's my only child. My only son. He's the one. My 6-foot-5, 230-pound baby. I've raised him by myself since he was 13, and he's been such a pleasure to raise because his mother did a good job with him before that."
Felony charge filed
Police arrested Ronald James Carnley, 51, of Palatka, Fla., near Jacksonville, early Saturday on a felony charge of DUI causing injury. David Stachursky was westbound when Carnley's truck turned in front of him, causing Sucharsky to hit the passenger side of the pickup, police Sgt. Donnie Dobbs said. Carnley had no proof of insurance and was driving with a suspended license and an expired tag, Dobbs said.
Carnley remained in custody at the Harrison County jail Monday. Justice Court Judge Bruce Strong set bond on the felony charge at $50,000.
A well-liked worker
David Sucharsky has worked for O'Reilly on Pass Road just less than a year.
"He gets along great with everybody," said Corey Simms, a store manager. "He's a really good person. We're putting together a care package and a couple of us plan to go see him when he's out of ICU."
He had studied auto mechanic work in high school and won a Skills USA silver medal in auto repair.
Frank Sucharsky said his son, always known as thoughtful and helpful to others, was having a third surgery Monday.
"Once he heals up some more, the doctors plan to do surgeries on the smaller injuries," the father said.
"I'm just very thankful, very grateful he's going to be OK and has no serious brain injuries. But it's going to be a long two weeks, a longer recovery and a long road with the medical bills."
As best as Frank Sucharsky can tell, his son had been at an Ocean Springs restaurant with some friends who also ride motorcycles and was returning home.
"An off-duty fireman showed up at the scene and then an off-duty paramedic," he said, "and that's lucky because they were able to stabilize him before an ambulance got there."
No medical insurance
David Sucharsky had uninsured motorist insurance on his motorcycle, but has no medical insurance because he's a part-time worker, his father said.
His first motorcycle
He had taken out a loan to buy his own motorcycle three or four months ago. His father, who rebuilds and restores motorcycles for French and Sons Motorcycles in Gulfport, said he hadn't been overly concerned for his son's safety because he knew he would be careful.
"I told him he had to have a high-quality helmet and high-quality riding gear," the father said.
"If you believe there is a power greater than you -- no matter what you choose to call it -- ask it to be with my son," the father said.
A GoFundMe account in the name of "Help David to a healthy recovery" has been set up to help with immediate expenses.