Construction workers in stable condition after hit-and-run crash; charges pending for driver

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Oh -- The man accused of hitting two construction workers on Cedar Road Thursday morning will likely face two counts of vehicular assault, according to University Heights police.

Detectives said the driver struck 54-year-old David Sollars and 46-year-old Ronald Carter and then fled the scene. Both are listed in stable condition.

As Fox 8 News first reported, the driver identified himself on a 911 call as 64-year-old Wiley Bridgeman of Richfield.

Bridgeman made national headlines in 2014, when he was released from prison after serving 39 years on a murder conviction. Bridgeman, his brother and another man were cleared when a witness recanted his testimony.

Bridgeway was awarded $2.4 million by the State of Ohio for wrongful imprisonment.

Cleveland Attorney Terry Gilbert, who helped win Bridgeman's freedom, learned early Thursday morning about the 64-year-old's involvement in the hit-and-run accident in University Heights.

He told Fox 8, "It's just heartbreaking and I don't know what happened, I just care about him, I care about his well being. I care about the people that were in the accident, it's a terrible situation.

University Heights Police are trying to find out if a medical condition may have played a role in the accident. They said when Bridgeman was taken to the hospital, they asked for a blood draw to determine if there were any drugs or alcohol in his system.

Ironically, on the same day as the hit-and- run accident, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Bridgeman and the other two men can sue Cleveland Police for the 1975 murder investigation that was based almost entirely on the claims of a 12-year-old boy.

Gilbert concedes that the loss of 39 years has weighed heavily on Wiley Bridgeman.

"There's no way that time could be made up and there's no way that it doesn't leave traumatic consequences, even when you receive your freedom. It takes a toll on you. It’s very difficult to re-adapt to society,” said Gilbert. “This is terrible but I don’t believe he wanted this to happen and there must be an explanation, but I don’t know.”

Bridgeman is being treated at Hillcrest Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

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