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Columbia auto accident: Mom hit, driver flees in front of kids

An elderly white female is being sought in connection with a hit and run accident in Columbia. The pedestrian versus auto accident occurred on a recent weekday evening on Garth Avenue. The victim, a mother of three and University of Missouri associate professor, was just getting her three boys into her car when the collision occurred. The boys, who were unhurt, are ages 4, 7 and 9.

The older boys are credited with having the presence of mind to get their brother out of his car seat. They saw the elderly driver exit her vehicle and actually toss aside the door of their mother's car from the front of her own vehicle before fleeing the scene. The boys went for help. The woman that police are searching for is said to have traveled north on Garth, where she struck the mother. The auto she was driving was described as beige or tan and apparently had four doors.

The victim's husband, who happens to be the Assistant Superintendent of the Columbia Public Schools, described the incident as an act of cowardice, particularly due to the fact that the driver did it right in front of the three boys. The mother was taken to University Hospital. Though she was reported to be in stable condition, she suffered multiple rib fractures and a fractured pelvis.

Fortunately, the mother's injuries do not appear life threatening, though she will need surgery and perhaps an extended recovery time. The family has already communicated with Columbia police concerning the auto accident, and authorities are reportedly continuing their investigation and likely focusing on locating the driver who fled the scene. Should the mother choose to do so, she has the right under our state law to press forward with a personal injury lawsuit against the woman, once she is located. Police are often able to locate a hit and run driver, and in an auto accident such as this, the driver may well have to answer to both criminal charges and civil claims for the damage she is said to have caused.

Source: The Columbia Daily Tribune, "Professor recovering after hit-and-run," Catherine Martin, Nov. 6, 2012

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