Harker Heights - Headlines

Local Woman Walks For First Time Since Near Fatal Hit-And-Run

A Central Texas woman who was critically injured in a near fatal hit-and-run two months ago is finally able to walk again.

Michelle Newton (Photo by Chinh Doan)

HARKER HEIGHTS (February 7, 2013)—Michelle Newton, 24, who critically injured in a near fatal hit-and-run on Dec. 1 in Harker Heights, is out of the hospital and walking again, two months after she was struck.

Newton suffered a shattered pelvis, two broken legs and a broken back when a red Ford Ranger pickup truck struck her just after midnight on Dec. 1 at the intersection of West Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Harley Drive.

The impact threw her 30 feet.

Police have not made an arrest in the case.

"My whole life has changed," Newton said Thursday.

"You don't know how strong you can be until you're put into the position,"

Newton had hoped to be out of the hospital in time to spend Christmas with her 4-year-old son and family, but developed a major infection for which she required additional surgery.

"I worked very hard and pushed through the pain and just thought about my son and how much I wanted to go home," she said.

The infection was an unexpected complication in Newton’s long and painful recovery, as a result of which she and her family are also facing mounting financial pressure.

Newton’s mother, Kathy Vaughn, underwent spinal fusion surgery in October and then suffered a heart attack in November.

With Newton uninsured and unable to work, the family was facing the possible loss of their home.

Newton was unconscious and in intensive care for seven days, and two weeks passed before she was allowed to see her 4-year-old son.

She underwent intensive therapy at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco simply to learn how to get from her bed to her wheelchair.

"I'm scarred, broken, and I've had to go through a lot," she said.

"I don't know if the person who hit me knows what they did."

(Chinh Doan and John Carroll contributed to this story)


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