Two victims in Collier hit-and-run remain in critical condition

Chelsey Murphy

Chelsey Murphy

Two pedestrians struck

U.S. 41 East and Airport-Pulling Road

Video from NBC-2

— Two young women were in critical condition Wednesday after a late Tuesday night hit-and-run accident near the Collier County Government Center.

Naples resident Jacque Michael Dampier, 18, was arrested in connection with the accident on two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, a Florida Highway Patrol report said.

The mother of one of the victims said her daughter was still unconscious Wednesday evening, but the other victim had gained consciousness.

Kristin Murphy said her pregnant daughter, Chelsy Murphy, 19, was suffering from a head injury and broken neck and pelvis. The unborn child is OK, she said the doctors told her.

“I’m OK. I’m not mad at the person who did it. It was an accident, plain and simple,” Kristin Murphy said when asked how she was doing. “My prayers are also for him.”

Topacio Sanchez, 21, the other victim, was unconscious until Wednesday evening, when she came to with a head injury, broken bones in her leg, knee, arm and tailbone and road rash requiring a skin graft, Kristin Murphy said.

The two were struck by a white Kia Sephia when they attempted to cross U.S. 41 at Airport-Pulling Road by running out into the road and not on the crosswalk, the FHP report said. Dampier didn’t see the two running, struck them, and then drove to the nearby Walmart, where he was located, the report said.

Both women were flown to Lee Memorial in Fort Myers. The FHP reported alcohol was not involved in the accident.

At the Walmart, the Kia had been cordoned off, its hood mangled and windshield a spiderweb of cracks. At the scene, clothing and other items, including a pair of shoes and a pair of flip-flops, were scattered in front of and behind a white Honda. The Honda is Donnie Cristiano’s, who drove up shortly after and provided assistance to the victims.

“All I did was respond, pull up and try to keep one of the girls conscious,” Cristiano said. “Really not a good scene.”

On Wednesday, Cristiano called the Daily News, overcome with emotion about what he saw and trying to obtain an update on the victims’ condition.

“I’m holding this girl in my arms, and she has a broken neck,” Cristiano said, clearly distraught. “I wasn’t able to deal with what I saw.”

Kristin Murphy issued sharp praise for Cristiano.

“Not knowing what was going on, he was talking to the girls, going back and forth,” she said. “That is a true, true saint right there. I’d love to talk to him. I was thinking about him all day.”

Chelsy Murphy had recently graduated from a post-secondary school and was moving into an apartment with Sanchez at Heron Park Apartments near the scene of the accident, Kristin Murphy said. She said the two were walking to her home when they were struck, she said.

“I was out and coming home,” she said. “The police passed us and I just had that feeling.”

After arriving home, Kristin Murphy said she saw her daughter wasn’t there, and then went to the scene, where she saw her daughter’s belongings in the road.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features