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Man in serious condition after hit-and-run on Clarks Bridge Road
Authorities searching for suspect in Thursday night incident
Authorities are looking for an unidentified motorist who struck a 64-year-old Gainesville man pushing a yellow shopping cart home Thursday evening. - photo by HAILEY VAN PARYS

A Gainesville man, known locally as “Country,” is still in serious condition at the hospital after he was hit Thursday night by a car on Clarks Bridge Road.

Clyde Herman Smith, 64, was pushing a shopping cart north on Ga. 284/Clarks Bridge Road between Kids Way and Pine Valley Road at about 10 p.m. when someone in a Ford vehicle, possibly a Ranger or Explorer, hit him from behind, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Devon Fields said.

Smith, who lives in the area, is fond of walking along the road and into the shops near the intersection of Clarks Bridge Road and Limestone Parkway, those who know him said.

Diane Thomas, a cashier at the nearby Marathon gas station, called him “a very sweet, little old man. He visits the gas station often,” she said.

He was also often singing to and praying for people he met.

“He never met a stranger,” said Symantha Smith, Clyde Smith’s daughter. “He loves people. Period.”

The battered Dollar General cart was still sitting next to the road Monday afternoon.

Authorities are looking for a vehicle that could have damage to the right front near the headlights and to the right front side-view mirror. It also may have yellow paint from the shopping cart, Fields said.

“We are investigating some possible leads” about the driver’s whereabouts, he added.

Smith was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. His daughter said his left leg was broken and bruised and his neck fractured.

Doctors told Symantha Smith that her father was lucky to be wearing a helmet at the time or he could have suffered significant brain damage.

Clyde Smith has no major head injuries, but he had to have staples put in. He will undergo more surgeries in the future, including skin grafts.

No one saw the wreck, as far as Fields has determined, but “there were two people across the street who heard the accident, came out and found (Smith) in the ditch.”

Anyone with information about the accident or the vehicle is asked to call state patrol at 770-535-6922.