Not all Hit and Run Accident Victims Die

In 2002, 23 year old Jaime Walker was struck by a hit and run driver while riding his motorcycle. Since that date Jaime has been suffering from brain damage and has been in a vegetative state. Jaime receives nourishment through a feeding tube, doesn't respond to commands and is blind. As of March 2005, he resides at his mothers home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His mother resigned from her job to take care of him full time.
(source - Tuscaloosa News 3/23/05)

(photo courtesy - Montgomery Advertiser 3/23/05 Mother Kay Walker and her son, Jaime)

8 year old Matthew Morgan of Chorlton, Manchester, England was struck by the side mirror of a hit and run driver on March 22, 2004. Matthew is recovering but will have facial scars for the rest of his life.

October 15, 2003 WKMG
A 6-year-old Florida boy who was partially paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver last year had four of his fingers chewed off by his family's dog because he couldn't feel what the animal was doing. Dontavius Bryant, of Tampa, FL., was hit by a driver last year and left with no feeling on his left side, which is why he didn't feel the dog chewing off his fingers to his second knuckle while he slept. Dontavius's 10-year-old brother, who shares a bed with him, found blood on the bed when he awoke sometime between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Monday. "My brother told me to look at my hand," said Dontavius, sitting in a wheelchair Tuesday afternoon at the hospital with his left hand wrapped in white gauze. "I looked at it, and it was bleeding." Hillsborough County animal control officials destroyed the puppy, a mixed breed of chow and pit bull named Chaka. The child's fingers were found in the dog's stomach, police said. Jerrolyn "Shawn" Dewberry, 27, rushed her son to St. Joseph's Hospital. Dontavius was being treated at adjacent Tampa Children's. "When I woke up, four of his fingers were off. It was a lot of blood," she said. "He went to sleep with 10 fingers, woke up with six." Dontavius, who is right-handed, lost the use of his left hand in October 2002 when the driver of a pickup hit him as he was attempting to cross the street on his way home from playing football. No one has been arrested.

1/9/05 -Rev. Eleazar Perez-Rodriguez  of Milwaukee, Wisconsin lost his leg when he was struck in a parking lot by a hit and run driver while loading groceries into his car.

On 7/18/04, 24 year old Bryon Speer was struck by a hit and run driver while changing a tire on the side of the road near Tacoma, Washington. Doctors were able to save his life, but he lost both of his legs.

Former University of Colorado Quarterback John Hessler - critically injured by hit and run driver on 10/19/03. Web site

photo by Jim Baird / Union-Tribune
November 12, 2002

Laura Chmielewski is confined to a wheelchair, her once-promising Navy career in shambles as she ponders what to make of her future. Nine months ago, the San Diego-based sailor was riding her motorcycle in Coronado when she collided with a car that pulled in front of her on state Route 75. The motorist drove off, leaving a critically injured Chmielewski, 22, behind. After two spinal surgeries, she remains paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors say her long-term prognosis for recovery is not good.

Posted on Sun, Mar. 27, 2005 Kansas City Star
Woman continues amazing recovery from accident 20 years ago
Copyright by Associated Press and Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - It has happened slowly, with small bites and short sentences, but progress has been constant for a woman's miraculous recovery from the brain injury she sustained in an accident twenty years ago.
Sarah Scantlin made headlines last month, when she uttered her first words since being left bedridden and unable to communicate after a drunken driver struck her in 1984. Scantlin was 18 when she was hit while walking to her car in Hutchinson.
Now 38, she has come further than anyone imagined. Doctors and therapists at the University of Kansas Hospital find something new that Scantlin can do every day. She can answer questions and read Dr. Seuss books.
Last week she swallowed food on her own for the first time in 20 years, downing spoonfuls of thickened apple juice.
On Monday, she is scheduled for surgery to straighten her feet. Doctors want to give her a chance to walk again.
"The strength in her legs is great, but her feet are in a position where they're not functional for walking," said Linda Ladesich, one of Scantlin's rehabilitation doctors. "We don't know if she'll walk again, but she deserves the chance to try."
The surgery on the feet comes first, Ladesich said. Surgery on her upper extremities, to move them out of a contracted position, might follow.
Her parents, Betsy and Jim Scantlin, have been nearby to watch her improve and to see a little more of the old Sarah everyday. They try not to ask if she will walk again or feed herself or be the confident, kind and happy young woman she was in pictures plastered on her hospital room walls.
"How far will she go? I don't know," Betsy Scantlin said. "And no one else knows, either. You can't worry about diagnosis. If you did, it drives you crazy. You would stop living."
Physicians at the hospital think Sarah had "locked-in syndrome." Ladesich said that Sarah probably was able to hear what was going on but not respond.
Sarah has been in the University of Kansas Hospital for three weeks. Doctors there contacted the Golden Plains Healthcare Center in Hutchinson, where Sarah had been for two decades. It was there, at the request of the Scantlin family, a judge ordered Douglas D. Doman II to visit Sarah. After the accident, Doman was convicted of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. He served six months in jail, only to get another DUI charge in 1987 and be sentenced to one year in jail...

For further on Sarah's miraculous recovery, visit her personal site. Please visit the gallery.

Hit-and-run victim's friends honor him                                                                          
Copyright The Jackson Sun (Tennessee)
Mar 29 2005

Friends and community supporters of hit-and-run victim Edward Mitchell will gather today to honor him and urge the public's participation in supporting the Friends of Edward Mitchell Fund.
This is the second anniversary of the automobile accident that left Mitchell paralyzed from the chest down. While riding bikes with his brother, the 16-year-old Mitchell was struck by a car and the driver did not stop to assist. Mitchell's brother found him minutes later and called for help.....Paramedics took Mitchell to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital where he would undergo 40 days of treatment including two surgeries, according to a news release from the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation.
''To be told your son is paralyzed, you see a lot of dreams go down - his first dance, walking at graduation. You feel like the living dead because you can't do anything,'' said Mitchell's mother, Simone, in the release.
Mitchell has made remarkable progress and has kept a good attitude, the release said. In addition to prayer and words of encouragement from family, friends and the community, Mitchell's support has also come from donations for his medical care.
His friends, neighbors, family, band mates, church, the NAACP youth council, Aurora Foods, and his employer at the time of the accident, Little Caesar's, have helped with his medical care and recovery.....
(photo courtesy Shepherd Center Hospital)

36 year old Gerald Smith was struck by a hit and run driver as he crossed a road in Aurora, Colorado on 9/28/2002. His severed leg was discovered 9 miles from the crash scene. Doctors were unable to save the leg.

(photo courtesy of Denver's ABC7)

30 year old Maricopa County  (Arizona) Sheriff's Deputy Doug Matteson was riding home after dinner with a friend early one morning in 2004, when his motorcycle was struck by a hit and run driver. Thrown into the middle of a freeway, at 2:15 am in the morning, all Deputy Matteson remembers next were headlights coming at him. Crawling on two hand and one leg, the seriously injured motorcyclist crawled across two lanes, and was grazed by a vehicle that attempted to miss him. Luckily, that vehicle stopped, and one of its passengers, a nurse, saved his life. While he would survive, the deputy would loose a leg. Moments later, a highway patrolman would discover the hit and run driver, with a friend, at an all night car wash, attempting to change a damaged tire. The arrested driver - an off-duty Scottsdale police officer.

On October 26, 2003, 18 year old Jacob Laliberte was walking along with a friend on his way to a convenience store in Salem, New Hampshire, when he was struck by a hit and run driver. He was struck so hard, that except for his underwear and a jacket that wrapped around his neck, all other clothing was ripped off his 260 pound body. Today, Jacob can spend 2 hours at a time in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down.

(photo courtesy of the Eagle Tribune)

Local Jacksonville DJ Rich Langlois was known to most of the northeast Florida coast, having worked at various local radio stations. On July 8th, Rich was riding his motorcycle when a car making an illegal U-turn, struck him. Rich survived the crash, but as of July 28th, he is a quadriplegic in critical condition, paralyzed from the chest down.


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Hit and Run Accidents