This story was updated at 8:02 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2019, with more information.
A man is recovering after he lost a leg in a hit-and-run crash Tuesday evening in East Ridge.
The crash happened around 9 p.m. in the 6400 block of Ringgold Road near McDonald's.
Jeff Stiner, of Ringgold, Georgia, was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by a pickup truck. The driver of the truck fled the scene heading south on North Smith Street, then west on Ringgold Road, according to East Ridge police.
The truck was then spotted going north on McBrien Road and possibly on Spring Creek Road.
Stiner was taken to a local hospital, where his leg was amputated. He remains hospitalized and told the Times Free Press on Thursday he underwent surgery earlier in the day. He said the procedure went well but he doesn't know how long he will have to remain in the hospital.
East Ridge police released an image from video surveillance that shows a red pickup truck suspected of being the one involved in the crash. A Ford front plate with a U.S. Marine Corps plate frame was recovered from the scene and police said the vehicle would likely have front-end damage and a lowered or hanging passenger side headlight.
By Thursday afternoon the truck had been located, according to East Ridge police. The search for its driver was ongoing.
"He should have been man enough to stop and own up to what he did," Steiner said Thursday evening.
As news of the crash spread, concerned friends took to social media to send good thoughts to Stiner.
"I was shocked and worried when we heard about you last night," one friend said in a post on Facebook. "I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong buddy."
There were more than 790 motorcycle-related crashes on Tennessee roadways in 2019.
Of those, 96 were in the 12-county Southeast Tennessee region, including 40 in Hamilton County.
Over the last two decades, fatalities involving motorcycles have been on the rise, according to state data.
In 2019, 153 motorcyclists died. While it was a decrease from 168 in 2018, it's still the second-highest death toll in the last 10 years.
A McMinn County man was the first motorcycle fatality of 2020 when he was killed Wednesday night, according to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security.
Mark Hart, 69, of Etowah, was driving a motorcycle down the wrong side of U.S. Highway 411 near County Road 410 around 8 p.m. when he hit a Chevrolet head-on, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Hart was ejected from the bike and died on the scene.
The driver was the car, a 28-year-old woman, was not injured.
She does not face charges in the death but was cited for driving on a suspended license.
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