A Crestview mom is pleading with the public to help her find the driver who left her daughter "for dead on the side of the road."

CRESTVIEW — A local mom is pleading with the public to help her find the driver who left her daughter "for dead on the side of the road."


Nearly one week after Crestview's Ashley Richards, 30, was seriously injured by a hit and run, the driver is still on the loose.

"I need the community's help because too many days are passing," said Suzanne Wilkins, Richards' mom. "I don't know what I did yesterday. I can't imagine people remember what they did last Wednesday."

Following the Sept. 25 incident, Richards was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where she remains unresponsive and in critical condition, her mom said.

"I would love to know who made the phone call (to local law enforcement) because I am so grateful for them," she said.

Overwhelmed by the situation that Wilkins described as "pure hell," she said that her daughter was a local musician who had "made a lot of friends with her singing.

"Her passion was singing. ... Her life was music," said Wilkins, who added that some of her earliest memories of her daughter were of her singing around the house — something, she joked, that started off cute, but became annoying.

Hours before the moments that nearly took Richards' life, she and her mom were hanging out at her daughter's home in Crestview.

Wilkins said that she left at about 10:30 p.m. that night. The two continued to text until 12:31 p.m., when Richards told her mom that she was calling it a night.

Wilkins woke the following morning to find a state trooper pulling into her driveway.

She said that it appears Richards decided to take a late-night walk, leaving her phone and purse inside her home along with the door wide open.

According to Robert Cannon, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, there were no witnesses or suspects as of Monday afternoon.

"We would like anyone with information to call *FHP (347) on their cellular phone, the Pensacola FHP station at 850 484-5000, or their nearest law enforcement agency," Cannon wrote in an email.

The devastated Wilkins added that it was her family's "second go-around" with something like this. Roughly seven years ago, her son Andrew was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

"He pulled through thank God," she said. "No family should have to endure this. ... To go through this twice is unbearable."

While Richards' "vital signs are (now) pretty stable," her injuries included a broken femur, broken arm and "shattered" pelvic bone. Wilkins added that her daughter also fractured "every bone in her face" and was awaiting reconstructive surgery.

"There's no way this person did not know that they hit somebody," she said. "To just leave her for dead on the side of the road — I need to find the son of a ----- that did this."