ST. LOUIS – Dramatic cellphone video captured a frightening scene on Friday the 13th when a van drove into a crowd during last week’s Ride of the Century activities near Cass and Broadway.
The streets were crowded as motorcycles and vehicles were stopped at a red light. A crowd of people was gathering to watch along the sidewalk and partly onto Cass when a van plowed through.
Johan Polanco was there with friends watching the bikers.
“I kind of yelled and pushed everybody out but it was not enough time and that’s then I got hit,” he said.
Polanco said the 20-year-old driver clipped his knee. On the video, you can hear a person worried someone was pinned under the van and then you can see Polanco limping away.
“If I wouldn’t have noticed, she would’ve hit me completely and probably would’ve killed me,” he said. “It just makes no sense. The police said she wasn’t drinking, which I don’t know if they’d taken any tests because I was taken to the hospital.”
Polanco wondered if the driver did it on purpose. He said police reassured him at the hospital that she was licensed and had insurance. But on Wednesday, September 18, he learned of a twist through his attorney, Justin Meehan.
“If it hadn’t been for that video, this story wouldn’t exist,” Meehan said. “Only lucky thing on Friday the 13th.”
Meehan found out the insurance card the driver showed police may have been fake.
“It took us a while to find the name of the person but we`ve learned from Progressive that the insurance card that she received is – I don’t know if she didn`t pay her premiums or whatever,” he said.
Polanco said doctors told him his knee is broken. He’s shut down from working as a painter for the business he owns.
“I’m going to have surgery. I’ll probably be out six months, according to the doctor,” he said. “Who’s going to take care of my family?”
St. Louis police reported no active criminal investigation. Fox 2 obtained the police report late Thursday afternoon.
According to that report, surveillance video at the traffic signal shows the driver ran a red light. Two other cars were stopped at the same light.
The driver was only cited for running the red light.
Fox 2 is following up with police to make sure they've seen the video and that they know about the insurance. We've been unable to reach the driver so far.