UPDATE: On Nov. 27, 2018 both police and family confirmed charges had been laid in connection with this collision. EPS said Wayne Hayes, 64, was charged with dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. His first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2019.
Margaret Tiller, just 66 years young, isn’t ready to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
But with the extensive injuries she suffered in a hit-and-run collision in Edmonton two weeks ago, the Alberta senior doesn’t know when she will walk again.
“I think I was in shock. It happened so fast,” Tiller said, describing the collision that took place just east of downtown Edmonton on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Tiller is in acute care at the hospital in Smoky Lake, Alta., located about two hours north of Edmonton.
On the day of the crash, she was in the city looking to rent an apartment.
The senior was waiting at a bus stop on 95 Street and 105 Avenue at around 11 a.m. when all of a sudden she heard a vehicle approaching.
Tiller said she turned around and was hit before she could get out of the way.
“I was standing by the bus stop, and this car came up onto the sidewalk and plowed into me.”
The driver never stopped, speeding away. She was stunned and didn’t immediately feel the pain but knew something was wrong.
“I just couldn’t believe it and I knew I couldn’t get up,” she said. Tiller was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital and later transferred up to Smoky Lake to be closer to her daughter.
Tiller’s injuries are extensive. She suffered five broken bones in her foot, a broken knee and a broken vertebra in her back as well as an assortment of cuts and bruises.
These injuries add to a list of health issues the senior already had at the time of the collision. Tiller has osteoporosis and diabetes. Seven years ago, she also received a double lung transplant for which she takes anti-rejection medications.
The vehicle used in the hit-and-run was found abandoned near the site of the crash later that day. So far, nobody has been charged.
Tiller’s daughter, Jennifer Tiller-Babiuk, is infuriated.
“I just can’t understand how someone could mow over a person on a sidewalk and not stop,” Tiller-Babiuk said.
The family says police have a suspect but need more witnesses to come forward because Tiller never got a good look at the driver.
“It makes you wonder how someone could do something like that when they know that they’ve hurt them,” Tiller said. She is calling for the driver to come forward and face up to what they did. “An apology would be nice.”
Tiller has been told her recovery could take at least eight months. “”It’s a long time — I don’t even want to think about it.”
She said she’d be happy if she can walk again.
“Even if I have to use assistance. I can’t imagine sitting in my chair for the rest of my days.”
Edmonton police confirmed they are investigating and said more information was expected early next week.
—With files from Sarah Kraus, Global News