‘Pretty lucky to be alive’: Cochrane man, hit-and-run victim wants suspect to be found

Jake Tiefengraber saw an airborne deer flying toward his girlfriend’s car as they drove along the highway near Cochrane Wednesday.

What he didn’t see was the truck that struck him from behind.

It happened as he stepped outside of the car that was pulled well into the shoulder.

“I got out to check out the damages, and I saw coolant all over the road. So I went around to the driver’s side and I popped the hood and then just turned, and as I was walking towards the front of the car again … that’s about as much as I remember,” Tiefengraber told CityNews.

“Pretty lucky to be alive at this point.”

The force launched the 25-year-old Cochrane resident about 15 feet into the air, pitching him into the ditch. There he had three seizures, shattered his ankle and had a major concussion.

Jake Tiefengraber, left, poses for a photo with his girlfriend Christine McColl
Jake Tiefengraber, left, poses for a photo with his girlfriend Christine McColl. (Courtesy Jake Tiefengraber, supplied)

An accountant who graduated from Mount Royal University, Tiefengraber says he is very fortunate that he has benefits and works for an understanding employer, but now feels his life is on hold as he can’t drive, walk, or hit the gym, and will be bedridden for a month.

“There’s a lot of weight on my shoulders that I’m having to pass off and give up on now. And I was really eager to start doing that right after graduation and show them what I can do,” he said.

“I’m going to be down for probably 10 weeks … so with my concussion I can’t even sit in front of a computer for a few weeks, so I can’t go to work. My legs are going to be out a really long time.”

RCMP says three vehicles were involved in the smash-up at about 7 p.m. Wednesday along Highway 1A near Township Road 260.

They are now looking for a vehicle described as a Dodge pick-up truck.

Tiefengraber says regardless of any explanations, striking a human being and speeding away is unacceptable.

“They are complete scum of the earth, they are the lowest of the low — they are lower than low. I have absolutely no respect for them, and I can’t wait for the police to find them,” he said.

“I can’t think of a single good excuse for running over another human.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the hit and run to call Cochrane RCMP at 403-851-8000, Three Hills RCMP at 403-443-5539, or leave a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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