CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte community is rallying around a local artist after he was hit by a suspected drunk driver over the weekend.
Joe Borruso, 30, lost part of his left leg after police say he was hit Sunday evening on Parkwood Avenue in Plaza Midwood. Ally Hoffmann has known Borruso since the seventh grade.
"It didn't seem real, really. Or at least I didn't realize how extreme it was," Hoffmann said.
According to the official crash report, witnesses told police Borruso was moving something with a dolly in the road when he was was hit by Evan Hager. Police say Hager was driving drunk.
"We're all kind of in disbelief, because I don't know, he's got a lot of spinal injuries, he's in a medically induced coma right now and he lost a limb," Hoffmann said.
Borusso is a staple in Plaza Midwood, known for his mural work around town.
"We're all just holding out for him," Hoffmann said.
Ask around and you'll hear the area is no stranger to dangerous driving.
WBTV requested a list of accidents in the small Parkwood stretch over the past two years, and learned there were nearly ten, including one pedestrian being hit, in the same exact spot in 2013.
"It's easy to think 'its just another Independence or South Boulevard,'" Hoffmann said.
While the community rallies around a friend who's down, they're confident he'll be back in the neighborhood he loves someday soon.
"I hope he feels this. Joe doesn't give up," Hoffmann said.
Friday, Central Coffee in Plaza Midwood will also be donating a portion of their proceeds on certain items towards Borruso's recovery.