The family of a 19-year-old woman critically injured in a hit and run is desperate for answers.
Jordan Lees was found unconscious, lying near the crosswalk on Tower Road and Kingsway Avenue at 12:27 a.m. on May 13. Police believe she might have been lying on the side of the road for more than half an hour before she was found by a passing fire rescue crew.
“If they didn’t find her, who knows, we could have lost her,” Lees’ older sister Malerie Rain said.
The driver that hit the young woman fled the scene and has yet to be tracked down by police. Investigators found a piece of the vehicle’s grill in the crosswalk, and believe it came from a 2002-2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Const. Braydon Lawrence with the Edmonton Police Service’s Major Collisions Investigations Section said the grill debris was an after-market part and the Trailblazer was likely damaged on the front driver side.
Police consulted with body shops in the city, and every one confirmed the Chevy part was an add-on. Police want to hear from any other body shops that may have repaired the front grill of a Chevy Trailblazer.
This isn’t the first time Lees has been hit in a crosswalk.
Lees’ friend Samantha Larson said she was hit by a car near Londonderry Mall in October 2010. She said Lees suffered a head injury and was in the hospital for eight days.
Thursday marks Lees’ 13th day in hospital after the Kingsway collision. Larson said this crash is much worse than the first.
“(The driver) just took off and left her there – laying in the dark all alone,” she said.
Const. Lawrence said collisions are inevitable, but it’s frustrating when people don’t stick around to do their due diligence.
“It is a part of life that collisions will happen, but she did have her life ahead of her,” he said. “She’s 19 years old, she’s got so much going for her, and then something as dumb at this is going to set her back.”
Lees is described as a kind and outgoing person by her family and friends.
“She would forgive the person who did this to her – that’s how kind she is,” Rain said.
But Rain is angry.
“I don’t understand how somebody could do that, how somebody could live with themselves,” she said. “How they can wake up every day and go about their life after destroying somebody else’s life like that.”
Police say the Inner City High School student sustained life-threatening injuries after she was thrown or carried up the road on the hood of the vehicle that hit her.
The crash left her in a coma, with multiple contusions on her brain, torn ligaments in her knee and fractures in her skull, leg and vertebrae.
The family started a GoFundMe page to help cover medical bills and ongoing care Lees will need once she is released from the hospital.
She is now out of the coma, but is intubated and unable to speak.
“I went (to the hospital) yesterday and she looked shocked when she looked at me – like she didn’t know me,” Rain said.
Despite the trauma Lees has experienced, her family and friends are hopeful she will overcome this.
“Despite her hard life, she still shone like a star every day,” Rain said.
“She’ll pull through,” Larson said. “I know she will.”
Police are still looking for suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.
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