GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The woman who was hit by an SUV, knocked over in her wheelchair and left bleeding in the roadway says she wants to meet the man arrested for the hit-and-run.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department arrested a suspect in the case Friday, less than a week after Lynette Moore was hit along S. Division Ave. south of 60th Street on June 24.
Investigators have not released the suspect’s name pending the prosecutor’s authorization of charges, but they say he was driving without a license when the crash happened. He was jailed on outstanding warrants before being released on bond.
“It was a stupid mistake,” Moore told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. “If he had just stayed put, he wouldn’t be in all this trouble.”
Moore has had amputations on both legs and was unable to help herself up after being knocked over. The crash left a large gash in her leg that continued to bleed a week after the incident. Doctors used stitches and more than 20 staples to close the wound.
“My leg feels like something very sharp going ‘boom, boom, boom,’” she described.
Moore said she also has back pain from the fall.
In addition to her injuries, her motorized wheelchair was damaged and no longer works properly, she said. She said the chair needs to be replaced but she lacks financial resources to get a new one. She hopes an eventual settlement with the driver might cover the expense of replacing the chair.
“The insurance won’t pay for it,” Moore said. “So I either have to pay for it or find somebody else with a deep pocket to pay for it.”
News of the arrest, she said, is helping heal her emotional wounds.
“He needs to learn there are consequences to his actions,” Moore said of the suspect.
But she wants the chance to express herself to the person responsible directly.
“I want to see him face to face,” Moore said.
Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said a tip to Silent Observer cracked the case. Once confronted, she said the suspect admitted his involvement.
“They got scared, which is why they said they left,” LaJoye-Young explained.
She was not surprised that a it was a tip from the community that brought an arrest in the case.
“I think the fellow citizens wanted to have some kind of peace for this woman,” LaJoye-Young said. “Somebody had to be responsible for hitting her.”
Moore is grateful to the person who called in the anonymous tip.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Moore said emphatically. “You’re a wonderful person and you have a conscience.”
It’s not clear when charges might be filed in Moore’s case. As of Monday afternoon, the case had not yet made it to the prosecutor’s office for review.