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Stuck heel blamed for rear-end crash in Miramar area, motorcyclist paralyzed

Stuck heel blamed for rear-end crash in Miramar area, motorcyclist paralyzed
Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 21:46:48-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - From his hospital bed, a motorcyclist and University Heights man is sharing his story after a rear-end collision left him paralyzed from the chest down.

33-year-old Clemson Blatnica says his new reality is just beginning to sink in.

“I run it through my head over and over again, and it doesn’t get easier,” said Blatnica.

Early Saturday morning, just past midnight, Blatnica was on his motorcycle, headed home after hanging out with some friends.

Police say he was stopped at a stoplight at Miramar Road and Kearny Villa Road, when a Toyota Camry, rear-ended him, reportedly sending Blatnica, who was wearing a helmet, face down into the pavement.

“As soon as I came to, I felt that I didn’t have any feeling in my legs,” said Blatnica.

Blatnica, who doesn't remember the crash, woke up in a hospital and learned he was paralyzed from the chest down.

An emotional Blatnica says he was in disbelief when he heard of the possible cause of the crash.

Family members say investigators told them the driver claimed the heel of her shoe got stuck under the brake pedal. When she tried to free it, she accidentally pressed the accelerator.

Blatnica's family says with the distance between stoplights, the 30-year-old driver, who did stay at the scene, should have had plenty of time to come to safe stop.

“Anger over how this happens. A shoe paralyzed my son,” said Michael Blatnica, Blatnica’s father.

As the investigation continues, Blatnica, who works as a shipping lead for a company that develops shock absorbers and racing suspension parts, is grappling with his life, now forever changed.

“There's no satisfaction in quitting. I’m not going to quit,” said an emotional Blatnica.

He says he's leaning heavily on his family and friends.

“I've never been one to shy away from challenges. This is a challenge, but I'm going to get through it … With support behind me, we’re going to get through it together,” said Blatnica.

Alcohol is not believed a factor in the crash. No arrests have been made in the case.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help Blatnica with his recovery.