Despite being struck by a hit-and-run driver and confined to a hospital bed, 15-year-old Chloe Williams feels blessed.
Loved ones have filled her room at Tacoma General Hospital with flowers, balloons and plush stuffed animals. She’s a long way from being healed, but she was able to stand up this week. She’s feeling a bit better day by day.
What she really wants, though, is to know why.
Why did someone run her over March 14 as she walked in a crosswalk in downtown Puyallup? Why did the driver leave her crumpled on the pavement, alone in the rain? Why hasn’t the person come forward and admitted the mistake?
“I was perfectly normal and had a great life — I still do — but now I have struggles,” Williams said Thursday from her hospital bed. “The fact they won’t own up to it is really frustrating.”
Williams was walking from her best friend’s house to Aylen Junior High to watch a basketball game the night she was hit. She was more than halfway across the crosswalk in the 600 block of West Stewart Avenue NW when a white SUV hit her and sped off.
There were no witnesses. Williams was on the ground for about 15 seconds before another car spotted her and stopped to help.
Her family declined to discuss specifics of her injuries but confirmed she has a broken leg. Her mother said Williams seemed peppier Thursday than she has since the crash, but she is far from recovered.
“She’s a good kid, she follows the rules, she was in a crosswalk,” Erin Williams said. “I’m flabbergasted they haven’t turned themselves in. It seems ridiculous no one has come forward.”
Williams doesn’t remember too much about the crash. She recalls one car approaching her in the crosswalk, but it stopped and let her pass. The SUV heading in the opposite direction did not.
She said it happened too fast for her to have a coherent thought. Her life certainly didn’t pass before her eyes.
Police said their biggest break so far is surveillance footage from the nearby Golden Rule Grocery store that captured the vehicle speeding away. They are working to clear up surveillance footage taken from nearby Puyallup High School in hopes of obtaining more information.
“This is a case about the public helping us out,” Capt. Scott Engle said. “Somebody out there knows something, they’ve seen something and hopefully they’ll listen to their conscience and their integrity and come forward with what they know.”
A reward for information might be forthcoming.
Williams underwent surgery for a broken femur this week. It’s unknown how long she’ll be in the hospital, but physical therapy will be necessary once she’s released.
“It will take a while, but I’m going to get better,” Williams said.
And once she does, she said, she’s heading straight for the mall.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
HOW TO HELP•
Donations to help with Chloe Williams’ recovery can be made to the Chloe Williams Trust Fund at any Bank of America branch.•
Anyone with information about the March 14 accident is asked to call the Puyallup police tip line at 253-770-3343.