CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) - It’s no doubt been a tough road for Christopher “Harb” Harbison lately.
Harbison, 27, was walking in the early morning hours of October 3 down Lewis and Clark Parkway near Eastern Boulevard in Clarksville. He was trying to cross the street to get to a store when he was hit by a car that police said kept going.
“The last thing that I remember is seeing the little white walking man sign to go across the street, and then after that, just nothing, completely blank,” Harbison said.
A good Samaritan found Harbison and called 911. He spent several days in the ICU. He’s home now, but bed-ridden from his injuries and likely will be for months. It’d be easy to hold a grudge, but Harbison said he’s choosing forgiveness over anger. His message of positivity and perseverance comes a day after the Clarksville Police Department announced it made an arrest in the case.
Officers said they received suspect information on Thursday and arrested Rickie Stovall Junior on Friday. They said he admitted to being involved in the hit and run in a taped interview. Stovall is charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury and obstruction of justice. Both are classified as Level 6 felonies.
Harbison said he is relieved to be getting some answers in the case, but he doesn’t want to see Stovall stay in jail.
“I don’t want that at all. I don’t think that’s going to fix anything,” Harbison said. “I just want him to know what he did wrong, and I want him to do everything that he can in his power to make up for it and do what’s right.”
Harbison said he isn’t perfect himself and understands people make mistakes.
“I very well could’ve been in this young man’s position. I’m sure he was scared. I’m sure he didn’t want to turn himself in and everything like that, but I’m also a man who is taking care of my family and taking care of her and you do what you’re supposed to do. You know what’s right and wrong and you pay for the consequences of your actions,” Harbison said. “I want to sit down, and I want to talk to him. I want to forgive him because I just want this to be closed. I want for us and his family to just go on living our normal lives.”
With multiple injuries, Harbison has a lot of medical expenses and said he thinks Stovall should help with those.
“I want to be able to take care of my family, and I don’t want to have to apply for short-term disability even though I know that I’m going to have to. That’s not the person I am. I’ve always been taught to work for what you want.”
Harbison and his fiancé were supposed to get married on November 30. That’s been pushed back likely to next summer.
"As soon as I can put pressure on this foot even if I have to walk with a cane, we’re going straight down to the courthouse and I’m putting a ring on her finger,” Harbison said. “She’s been my rock through all of this. She’s made sure that I’ve had everything that I’ve needed and wanted. She’s made sure that my bandages and my face stay clean. She’s made sure my leg stays clean. She worked on my leg for two hours last night getting the bandages off and just making sure the rods and pins were cleaned and thorough. She’s the reason why I have the smile on my face that I do today because without her, I would’ve bene in the dumps. I would’ve not known how to pick myself back up.”
Harbison hopes others can learn from his story and be inspired to look at the good in every situation.
“Bad things happen to everybody. It’s just like how my mom and my dad told me, it’s not how you fall, it’s how you pick yourself back up,” Harbison said. “Everybody can take the high road, get past and forgive. Once they do, the guilt and the pain just seems to lift off your shoulders.”
Here’s the link to help with medical expenses-> https://www.gofundme.com/2ttde76k