Ashley Richards was sent home from the hospital more than three months after being hit by a car.
CRESTVIEW — A Crestview hit and run victim who was struck by a car and left for dead is beginning the new year by being released from the hospital.
Ashley Richards, who is 31, was hit by a car on September 25 on Okaloosa Lane, but the driver who hit her did not stop.
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Ashley was sent to the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center where she was unresponsive for two weeks. In November, she was transferred to The Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida. She was sent home today (Friday, January 3).
“I’m over the moon,” her mother, Suzanne Wilkins said. “It’s been a long journey. I am beyond excited to be getting her home.”
Ashley and her 14-year-old son, Samuel, will live with Wilkins as she continues to recover and attend outpatient therapy.
Ashley was recently given the green light to bear weight on her right side and has been working to regain her walking strength.
While her physical capabilities continue to strengthen, Ashley’s traumatic brain injury continues to be a struggle, her mother said.
“The brain injury is the thing that scares me most,” Wilkins said. “She has many lucid moments, but she’s not real clear on the time and place. Her long and short term memory are shot. We have to retell her everything.”
Wilkins said the recovery process has been especially difficult for both her and Ashley’s son.
“It’s really hard because for me being her mother, I know how my daughter was prior to the accident and how she is now,” Wilkins said. “Sammy has been struggling through all of this. Ashley is his rock. He’s excited for her to be home and be with him.”
Wilkins said the support that the family has received from the community has kept them going.
“It’s been complete strangers that have held us up during this time,” Wilkins said. “The outpouring of love has completely touched our hearts. We’re eternally grateful. I don’t know what we would have done without the support and prayers that we’ve gotten.”
As for the hit and run accident, Wilkins said there have been no new developments, but with Ashley home she can turn her attention to finding the person who left her daughter for dead.
The Florida Highway Patrol is in charge of the investigation.
“We did several interviews but we haven’t been able to conclusively determine who is responsible,” FHP Public Affairs Officer Robert Cannon said. “We have exhausted all of the information that is available. We are at an impasse right now, (but) we would like to get it resolved and get to the bottom of what happened to her.”
Cannon said anyone with information should contact the FHP or they can anonymously report it to the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers.
“Ashley has no recollection of the accident,” Wilkins said. “I will find out who did this if I have to go door to door in Crestview. I won’t rest until I do.”