Special Olympics star loses his legs in a car accident - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Special Olympics star loses his legs in a car accident

The construction worker who lost both of his legs in a car accident is a well-known athlete with the Special Olympics Hawaii.

32-year old Nick Pang competes in bowling, softball and weightlifting. He won two gold medals in 2011 at the World Games in Athens, Greece and many other local awards. But most of all, he won the hearts of everyone involved with the organization.

Now, Special Olympics Hawaii is standing by his side as he faces the greatest challenge of his life.

"It's just devastating," says Dan Epstein of Special Olympics Hawaii, "We just love Nick, we just love his family, they've been involved in Special Olympics now for over 20 years." 

Nick was part of a construction crew working on Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa about 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon. He was in the back of a work truck about to pick up traffic cones. His legs were hanging over the side when a white, Suzuki SUV -- speeding down the hill -- slammed into the truck bed. 

The driver, Jimmie Dorsey Jr., died of head injuries. He was a suspect in a hit-and-run just minutes earlier and a few blocks away.

"There was a witness vehicle that saw the collision and followed the SUV that hit the pick-up truck. The driver of the pick-up truck also followed the SUV. The SUV started to pick up speed, up to 70 miles an hour," says Lt. Carlene Lau with the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Unit.

Hawaii News Now got video of Nick when he returned to Hawaii from the World Games in 2011. He was proudly wearing his gold medals. 

Dan Epstein calls him one of the toughest athletes to ever come through the organization and believes that he can beat the odds.

"If anybody's going to come through this it is going to be Nick, he's absolutely driven," Epstein says, "And the great thing about Nick, he does it with a great attitude. Always a great attitude so he absolutely is a fighter."

Related story: 

1 killed, 1 critical in crash near Waipio Acres 

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly