Questions abound as police try to sort through conflicting witness reports for any useful information that will help track down the driver to blame for a hit-and-run that sent a Western Washington University freshman and her friend to the hospital on January 18. The freshman suffered severe injuries that prompted doctors to have her transported to a Seattle Hospital for surgery.

Early reports indicated that the student and her friend were hit by a car as they were walking to a house party in Bellingham at around 11:00 p.m. Witnesses described seeing a car with no lights on heading toward a group of people who scattered on impact. Beyond that, details are fuzzy. Many witnesses may have fled the scene and those who offered information to police gave widely varying descriptions of the motor vehicle involved.

One fact that nobody disputes is that the victims of the hit-and-run only narrowly escaped catastrophic injuries. Witnesses found the freshman’s friend lying on the ground with an injured leg. They found the freshman standing upright but screaming in pain with her arm bent in the wrong direction.

The student’s friend was released from the hospital later in the evening, but the freshman had to undergo surgery to repair an artery that was torn open by a broken bone that pierced the skin of her arm and jabbed into her side. The freshman’s father said that she suffered nerve damage in her hand that may be permanent.

Victims of pedestrian accidents often suffer critical injuries that can lead to serious financial challenges. In addition to staggering medical expenses, victims may be unable to work during recovery. In some cases, disabling injuries can permanently impair a person’s ability to earn a living. An experienced personal injury attorney can help accident victims obtain fair compensation from responsible parties.

Source: The Western Front, “Family of Western student injured in hit-and-run offers reward for info about driver,” Samantha Wohlfeil, Jan. 23, 2013