Police were searching Thursday for a driver involved in a hit-and-run in south Minneapolis that left a man with broken legs and is likely to keep him from walking for months.

Matt Call, a barista at the Urban Bean Coffee shop, was opening the driver's door of his car, which was parked in the 2400 block of Lyndale Avenue S., at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when he was "struck and tossed" by a passing sport-utility vehicle, according to a news release from Minneapolis police.

The vehicle was described as a black Jeep with gray trim. Along with the male driver, there was a male passenger in the front seat, police say.

Call remained hospitalized Thursday at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"I personally thought he was dead when I saw him," said friend and co-worker Nate McKay, who ran outside after a customer told him about the accident.

Call had been getting in his vehicle with his girlfriend, Missy Morken, when the vehicle "came out of nowhere" and hit Call, sending him flying about 25 feet in the air before he landed on his stomach near the curb, she said.

In a phone call from the hospital, Morken said that Call was recovering well, considering that doctors estimated that he was hit by a vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour.

"He's very blessed to be alive right now," Morken said.

It could take three months before he can walk again, she said.

McKay said his friend was the second person in about a month he knew of hit on busy Lyndale Avenue. McKay said, he had almost been hit by a car himself.

Anyone with tips is asked to call Sgt. Scott Olson at 612-673-2981. Donations for Call can be sent via PayPal at liveletters.net/mattcall.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495