SICK racist thugs who left an NHS hospital worker for dead in a horrifying racist attack used coronavirus masks to shield their identity, a witness has revealed.
The victim, 21, who has not been named, was walking home from his shift at Southmead Hospital in Bristol when he was deliberately struck by a car.
The thugs allegedly yelled "f****** n*****" after running the innocent victim into a wall.
They then ditched the car and fled, leaving the man to fight for his life.
The victim was left with a broken leg, nose and cheekbone, and will need plastic surgery to his face and leg.
Witness Colin Tarr, 74, who ran to help the victim, said the attackers used masks to hide their identity.
The retired aerospace engineer told the Sun Online: "The two men were in their mid-20s, I'd say, and their faces were covered with Covid-19 masks and hats pulled down.
"They seemed to be wearing them to prevent them being identified rather than for health purposes but I could see they were both white and their victim was black.
"If I hadn't reversed the car off him, he could have died, I'm sure. He was in a bad way."
Hero Colin then drove after the attackers but they managed to escape.
He said: "I went back to see how the young man was. He was still lying where I'd left him on the pavement covered in blood. His head, back and legs were bleeding heavily..
"It was deliberate, no question. The car had to turn at speed at right angles to hit the young man.
"They shouted horrible racist abuse at him and I'm told by the police that they may have known him through the music business. There may have been beef between them prior to this incident.
"He was clearly in a lot of pain. There was an initial bang when the car hit him, then the sound of a smash as his head went through the windscreen, shattering it.
"He ended up crushed against a wall with railings and he was completely trapped by the car."
The young man yesterday told of the horrifying impact of the attack.
He said: "I have six months of recovery ahead of me, minimum. I have a broken leg, nose and cheekbone, will need plastic surgery to my face and leg and am walking on crutches.
"I don't want this to happen to anyone else, I want people to be aware.
"This has affected me proper – mentally as well as physically. I don't feel safe to walk outside and I can't play football, record my music, go to the gym or even sleep – I have to try to sleep sitting up.
"I really want to thank all the people who were there to help me – the people who were there when it happened, colleagues at the NHS for their love and support, the witnesses who have come forward and SARI as well as the police for their hard work.
"We will bounce back as a family, this will make us stronger. We won’t let the haters win."
His devastated mum told the BBC, after sharing pictures of his shocking injuries, "they saw the colour of his skin and attacked him", using the car "as a weapon".
She said: "He was hit so hard it squashed his legs and threw him onto the windscreen and the attackers then screamed racial abuse at him.
"I was told by doctors he was lucky to be alive."
Did you see what happened or know the culprits? Get in touch on 02077824368 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friend Ronald Muchenje wrote on Facebook: "He is alive thank God, but the damage done is already too much to bear when you consider they ran him over into a wall all because he is black.
"The perpetrators could be heard screaming "f****** n***** by at least 15 eyewitnesses as they ditched the car running off leaving him to fight for his life.
"It's so bad that we are having to deal with this in 2020. I now can't even let my kids play outside because the risk of someone actually driving towards them because they are black is too high or just attacking them in broad day light.
"He is like a little brother to me. I am always trying to give him good advice in work. He is a humble kid as well."
'LUCKY TO BE ALIVE'
Local football team DRG SV Frenchay, who described him as a member of the team named "K-dog", said: "This is absolutely sicking what has happened to one of our players.
"Genuinely one of the nicest guys at the club and that I have ever met. On be half of everyone one at the club we wish you a speedy recovery K-dog."
Police confirmed they are treating the incident as a racially aggravated assault.
Witnesses saw two men run away from the vehicle after the crash, police said. The road was closed for more than five hours as forensic teams scoured the scene.
Det Insp Danielle Underwood said officers have now interviewed the victim, who was rushed to hospital with serious injuries, but which were not life-threatening.
RACIALLY AGGRAVATED ATTACK
The victim was discharged the next day following treatment.
Andrea Young, Chief Executive at North Bristol NHS Trust, said it was "incredibly saddened" by the attack on its hospital worker.
She said: "The police believe this to have been a racially aggravated attack and we are horrified that this is something that has happened to one of our friends and colleague.
"Racism, in any form, has no place in our society and that an attack such as this can happen is shocking."
Officers have seized a vehicle, carried out house-to-house enquiries, taken more than a dozen witness statements, trawled for CCTV and appealed for dashcam footage.
Neighbourhood Inspector Lorna Dallimore said: “This is a shocking incident in which a vehicle was deliberately driven at the victim and racist language used following the collision.
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"We are very grateful to everyone who has been in touch with information so far. We’re working hard and progressing some positive lines of enquiry as a matter of urgency."
Police are asking anyone who saw a dark blue Honda Accord being driven in the area at around that time or have any CCTV or dashcam footage of the incident or the vehicle just beforehand to get in touch quoting reference 5220163308.
Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.