Hit-and-run victim meets person who saved his life

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He could have died if his rescuer had not found him early Sunday morning on the side of Highway 316 in Barrow County.

Wednesday night, that hit-and-run victim got the chance to meet and thank the man credited with saving his life at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

For Joseph Rivas and Micah Callahan it was another face-to-face meeting. They first crossed paths early Sunday morning. Rivas had pulled off Highway 316 after striking debris on this stretch in Barrow County.

He spotted Callahan's crumpled Jeep in the woods then the badly injured Callahan crawling out of it after a terrible hit and run.

"If he had not been there I don't... I could have been dead, so I'm really grateful for him," said Callahan.

Rivas, his girlfriend Jenny, Callahan's stepfather and mother all gathered at Callahan's bedside.

"God put you in Micah's path that day and God had a plan for you and I'm sure for the rest of your life and I'm sure for Micah as well," said Shannon Lackey, Callahan's mother.

For Rivas, the chance encounter, where he calmed Callahan until help arrived, brought up strong emotions after losing his older brother to suicide a month ago.

"It made me feel good helping another person and I wish I was there for my brother more," said Rivas.

Rivas said he'll help seek justice for Callahan in the trial of 22-year-old Zantravious Shields, facing numerous charges for the hit and run.

Callahan has fractures on the right side of his body is heavily medicated and faces numerous surgeries.

"I'm better than being in that ditch, that's all I really know;" he said.

The two said they'll meet again soon after Callahan's recovery improves which may not have been possible had it not been for Joseph Rivas.