The Norman Transcript

March 30, 2014

Hit and run leaves runner sidelined

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Corey Berlier was training for a 10K when he was hit running on Slaughterville Road last week.

The Noble High School graduate had not been a student athlete all those years ago, but during the almost nine years he spent in the Army National Guard, he got into shape until bad knees slowed his pace.

Two knee surgeries later, Berlier was moved by the tragedy when the Boston Marathon was bombed.

“I’m a huge Red Socks and huge New England Patriots fan,” he said. “I wanted to start running, and just get out there with the hopes one day of getting into that marathon.”

Currently a Slaughterville resident, Berlier was running on Slaughterville Road when a white hybrid or SUV clipped him.

“I was on the north side of the road,” he said. “I always run against traffic. The car was coming right at me. I got as far over as I could.”

Berlier thought the vehicle would go around him. At 7:30 p.m., it was still light and the road had only light traffic.

When the vehicle stuck him, he spun into the ditch and the vehicle’s passenger side mirror was knocked off. The white vehicle slowed briefly, then the “took off,” Berlier said, leaving him to seek medical assistance on his own.

He wishes now he would have picked that mirror up. At the time, he was in pain and needed help. Berlier called his mother-in-law who took him to Norman Regional Hospital. Initially, his right arm was ruled as a broke radius, and he was to referred to McBride Orthopedic Hospital.

After nine x-rays, the injury was determined not to be a break, but there was a lot of blood in the surrounding tissue and the doctor expressed concern about compartment syndrome. Berlier is doing physical therapy and waiting for the swelling to go down.

While Berlier has insurance, but he’s not sure how much will be paid because a third party is liable for the injury. He’s hoping his insurance will reimburse some of the expense.

“Someone might know who this is,” he said. “I think it’s only right that they pay for the damage this caused. I don’t get how someone’s conscience will let them hit somebody and leave them with no concern for their well being.”

Berlier filed a report with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and two “very nice deputies” came out, but there isn’t a lot of evidence for investigators to go on. He and his wife looked for the broken mirror the next day, but it was gone. He suspects the driver in the hit and run came and retrieved the only hard evidence in the case.

“My hope is that someone out there knows who it is,” Berlier said. “Typically if you’re driving out there, you live out there. You’re not joy riding on a rural country road.”

Berlier said his employer is very supportive and encouraging and most of the community is friendly and supportive. It’s the first time a car hasn’t given him leeway.

“I’ve lived out there for three years,” he said. “Usually everyone is really friendly and waves.”

For now, Berlier is running on a treadmill. His wife is frightened for him to return to the asphalt.

Berlier said he was wearing visible clothing and brightly colored shoes. He’s guessing the driver was on the phone or distracted.

“I try to make myself as visible as I can,” he said.

If anyone has information on the hit and run, Berlier hopes they will report it to the Cleveland County Sheriff at 701-8888.

Joy Hampton



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