CLEVELAND - Cleveland police are searching for the driver who struck a Michigan police officer and left the scene.
It happened Tuesday around 11:30 a.m. along Interstate 71 south near the Ridge Road overpass.
Police said Officer Robert Charles Bielak pulled his motorcycle onto the berm to check a map and a car struck him and kept going.
Officer Bielak is a member of the Pinckney Police Department in Michigan. He was on vacation passing through Cleveland.
Officer Bielak's family said he is critical condition at MetroHealth Medical Center. Doctors had to amputate his left leg from the knee down.
He has had setbacks since his surgeries and is on a ventilator. His father described how his son is a real fighter.
"He saw he lost his leg and made his own tourniquet," said Chester Bielak. "Doctors said he saved his own life making the tourniquet."
Cleveland police said witnesses at the scene identified the vehicle as a 1992 to 1999 Buick LeSabre that is light beige and metallic in color.
Anyone with information should call the Cleveland's Police Accident Investigation Unit at 216-623-5295. Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463
The Cleveland Patrolman's Association announced Friday that an account has been established at the Cleveland Police Credit Union to assist Officer Bielak and his family. Officer Bielak has six children.
"We have resources to reach out and get his family financial comfort so they can concentrate on him getting better," said Jeff Follmer, President of the Cleveland Police Department.
Officers Bielak's wife, Ginger, is very grateful for all the support from Cleveland police.
"All of the officers that I've been in contact with have been amazing," Ginger said.
Donations may be sent to the Cleveland Police Credit Union 2301 Payne Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44144. Checks should be made payable to the Officer Robert Bielak Fund.
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