The video is astonishing. A Florida man has been run over and is trapped beneath a 3,500-pound car. With no time to spare, a group of bystanders takes hold of one side of the car and physically lifts it high in the air, saving the man’s life.
“They turned into the Incredible Hulk,” John Henry Hill, the man under the car, told TODAY’s Natalie Morales Monday in New York as he watched surveillance video of the incident that nearly killed him.
“I was unconscious under the car. After I saw the film, I was so in awe that I had so many people come together with all of this collection of adrenaline,” Hill said. “That was just amazing, how these guys rallied for my life to do that.”
Bizarre attackThe 63-year-old Hill sat in a wheelchair, his pelvis still healing after being broken when the irate father of one of his tenants allegedly chased Hill down with his car and ran the landlord over on Dec. 10 in Fort Lauderdale.
Finally out of the hospital and on the mend, Hill could now talk about the bizarre attack that began with what he considers an innocuous request he made of 59-year-old Franklin Parker to not park on the lawn of the house that Parker’s daughter was renting from Hill.
“It was just a mere pleasant remark I made to the gentleman about parking on the grass,” Hill told Morales. “He became very irate and began to approach me with very profane language and a very hostile approach.
“I began to get back and I was just very afraid of him. It just moved from there, and he got into his car.”
Hill never supposed that Parker, who has been charged with attempted homicide, meant to run him over until the man reportedly began chasing him with the car, turning “doughnuts” on the lawn of the rental property.
“That’s when I began running for my life,” Hill said.Hill ran off the property and around the corner. Surveillance video shows Parker’s ’92 Ford Taurus station wagon pursuing him down the street, over a curb and onto a lawn. Then Hill falls down and the Taurus completely runs him over before stopping just short of a utility pole with Hill hidden beneath the vehicle.
Hill lost consciousness when he was run over, but he remembers very clearly running for his life, and then his alarm when he started to fall with the car hot behind him.
‘Don’t let me fall’
“At the time I was not happy that I was falling,” he said. “I was saying to myself, ‘Oh my God, don’t let me fall, because the car’s going to run over me!’ ”
But then he had a vision that set his mind at ease. “I just happened to see this spiritual cloud of my mom and God around me and they made me fall. That was in the plan. Had I not fallen, then I would have been killed immediately and plastered against the pole or the wall,” Hill said.
Parker got out of the car after running down Hill and is seen on the video assaulting a bystander before running into a nearby store. In the store, a group of local residents who know Hill threw Parker out on the sidewalk, where more video shows them administering a beating to the suspect.
Amazing featMeanwhile, Hill remained under the car for a couple of minutes until Fort Lauderdale police officer Paul Brown arrived and realized that somebody had to free Hill.
Brown asked the local residents to help him lift the car. Weeks later, Brown told NBC News’ Kerry Sanders he still doesn’t know how they did it.
“If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I could do it,” Brown told Sanders.
In addition to the damage to his pelvis, Hill suffered a broken cheekbone. He said his ear was almost torn from his head as well.
“At this time I’m not able to walk. With the grace of God, hopefully very soon I will be walking again,” Hill told Morales.
“He just wants to get up out of that chair,” added his wife, Cheryl, who joined him on TODAY.
Also on the show was Hill’s attorney, Ginger Cartwright, who said that Parker faces a possible life sentence if convicted of attempted murder. She added that she intends to file a civil suit against Parker on Hill’s behalf.
“Although Mr. Hill looks amazing now, he has a lot of injuries, and he suffered a lot,” Cartwright said. “He will have medical treatment for the rest of his life.”