As the year began, he was living the American dream. Now it’s beginning to look more like a nightmare.
“Without notice, I was on the ground. The car hit, hit, hit me, and caused me to hit another car,” said Lucky Weah, a South Bend resident who got caught in the crossfire of a high speed police chase last February that came to a crashing conclusion in his Southeast South Bend neighborhood.
Lucky was nothing more than an innocent bystander who was coming home from work, walking on the sidewalk about a block and a half from his home when he was struck by a car.
The driver of the maroon Cadillac (Clester Burt) was allegedly drunk, driving without a license, and traveling in the neighborhood of 80 miles an hour through Lucky’s residential neighborhood.
“I have a rod in my leg,” said Lucky. “To, you know, support my bone.”
To add insult to injury, when the cops arrived they handcuffed Lucky, somehow thinking he was in the car officers were chasing.
“And they step on my shirt. I said keep your foot off my shirt, I can't breathe. And he said if you can't breathe why are you talking? Shut up.”
Since the accident, Lucky celebrated the birth of his son, Prosper, but he hasn’t been able to prosper himself. Lucky hasn’t been able to return to his job and he could soon be looking at a third surgery.
“All I am praying for is to be on my feet again so I can be able to go out there, find a job, provide for my family,” said Lucky. I am used to going to get what I want, work hard, have two jobs, just to provide for my family, now I cannot.”
Lucky became a U.S. citizen in 2012, the same year he landed a good job at an Elkhart County bus manufacturer.
“We're giving monetarily. We're giving, we've kind of made it an ongoing mission to provide their daily supplies,”
said Pastor Peggy Garnaat, of Southside Christian Church on Jackson Road where Weah is a member. “Laundry detergent, diapers, those kinds of things.”
But the church has a small congregation and the pastor admits more community support is needed as Lucky’s needs transition from help with food and diapers, to help with car payments and rent.
“Unfair is true, but I’ve not found a whole lot in life that really is fair and so I think you find justice in the world by and in situations like this, by doing what each individual can do to make it right,” said Pastor Garnaat.
Southside Christian Church is located at 1329 Jackson Road and can be reached at 574-291-1156 or at www.southsidedoc.org.