PROVIDENCE, RI (CBS) – A Providence, Rhode Island man says he’s sore, but thankful to be alive and home with his family. Monday morning, a driver hit Ron Valle at the Walpole gas station where he’d worked for nearly a year. “I start like seven o’clock in the morning. It was 11:30 something like that,” he recalled. He’d just finished with one customer; when he looked down to count his cash. That’s when it happened. “Wow, see how far I fly,” he said watching the security video that shows the entire thing.
The driver of a blue Toyota Avalon hit the gas instead of the brake, throwing Valle 30 feet. “I remember, I fly and the next thing I know, I was on the street,” he said.
At that point, half of his body was in the street, the other on a grassy patch between the traffic nearby and the sidewalk. The driver had also taken out the gas pump which started a fire. “I tried to stand up and run you know because the fire was in front of me, you know. And uh, my first thing I think was this is going to explode,” he remembered. But Valle was too battered and bruised to get up. He says he thought the place would blow up and he would die. “The only things in that moment was oh God, forgive me for everything,” he said.
His boss used three fire extinguishers to put out the flames. Out of the hospital now, Valle is in pain, but says he didn’t suffer any broken bones. “My low back and uh actually, my belly right here and this arm. That’s the worst,” he explained.
He didn’t want to comment on the driver who hit him, 83-year-old Ed Grace of Walpole. Grace told WBZ-TV it was a terrible accident and he hated that it happened. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles revoked his license indefinitely after a request by Walpole Police who cited an immediate threat based on Monday’s crash.
After a night in Norwood Hospital, Ron Valle is just grateful to be home in Providence. “When I was in the hospital the first thing I see was my sons and they’re the best thing in my life,” he said as one of his boys helped him back to bed. Once recovered, he hopes to return to work in Walpole. “Definitely, I have to work,” he said. “I think I’m very, very lucky. I think God saved me. That’s the only thing I can say.”