The family of an Abbotsford woman who suffered life-changing injuries following a hit-and-run collision last fall is speaking out after the accused driver was charged.
Sharon Beckett suffered traumatic head and spinal injuries when she was struck in a marked crosswalk outside the West Oak malls by a man driving a minivan on Sept. 29, 2020.
On Thursday, Abbotsford police said 77-year-old Jos Boulay was charged with failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
“I want this person to know that if they would have stopped, things would be completely different,” Beckett’s daughter Amber Semour told Global News Sunday.
“When the initial impact happened, he stopped momentarily, and then he continued on and that’s when the tire went over her head. If he had stopped, it would have been a completely different story for my mom.”
Beckett, who was already deaf at the time of the collision, suffered a ruptured eye, along with a broken back and a broken neck when the vehicle drove over her head.
The 59-year-old lost much of her vision, and can no longer work, draw or sew, Seymour said.
“She can still get out and walk around with her walker, but her back and neck were broken in the accident, so it’s still quite painful. She’s suffering from PTSD from the accident as well,” she said.
Seymour normally lives in Edmonton and is trying to arrange proper care for her mother before returning home. Her sister lives in the Lower Mainland but recently suffered a stroke and is unable to care for their mother.
Beckett has “moved on” when it comes to thinking about the driver in the crash, and is focused on trying to adapt to her new life.
That’s involved challenges like trying to deal with the government and ICBC while deaf and nearly blind; her daughter said agencies continue to phone her rather than send emails — calls she’s unable to hear.
Seymour said she’s received some support for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, but continues to face challenges communicating with officials, arranging doctor appointments and arranging support from a social worker.
“(The government) just need to step up,” Seymour said.
While her mother has moved on, Seymour said she still has strong feelings about the driver in the crash.
“I just can’t believe someone would drive away from something like that and not even try and reach out,” she said.
“I can’t imagine how anyone lives with themselves with something like that.”