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Minnesota man run over by rampaging driver in Denver

Austin Nelson was finally able to go home on Wednesday.

A Minnesota man was targeted by a raging motorist who went on a hit-and-run rampage in Denver, Colorado, ramming multiple vehicles and running him down while he was on a weekend getaway with his partner. 

Austin Nelson and his partner, Collin Davis-Johnson, were walking on a sidewalk near the Colorado state Capitol building in Denver on Jan. 30, when they heard tires screech and saw a vehicle speeding in their direction. 

"We quickly realized that this was not an accidental act of the driver, but rather an intentional act to harm," recalled Davis-Johnson, who wrote about the incident on Nelson's CaringBridge page. "In our panic, we ran – I veered left, while Austin veered right and unfortunately the driver decided to turn his wheel right. Austin was struck and run over by the vehicle."

Nelson suffered numerous hip fractures and internal injuries that kept him hospitalized in Denver for more than 10 days. The impact of the hit-and-run partially tore an artery in his pelvis, causing internal bleeding, also tearing his urethra from his bladder. 

Multiple surgeries and 11 days after being admitted to the Denver hospital, Nelson was flown home to Minnesota on a private plane on Wednesday. He'll now spend at least the next six weeks at Davis-Johnson's family's home in St. Paul, which is wheelchair accessible, according to the CaringBridge page.

The driver, 23-year-old Tyler Hazell, was charged in connection to going on a rampage in which he allegedly challenged two women in a vehicle to a race – threatening to kill them if they didn't – then speeding backward for two blocks and then speeding forward and running over Nelson. He later slammed into numerous vehicles, including two police cruisers, injuring two officers and a prisoner, according to FOX 31

Nelson said he still needs to undergo a full reconstructive surgery of his bladder and urethra. If you would like to help with Nelson's long road to recovery, you can donate to a GoFundMe that has so far raised more than $20,000. 

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