Mum’s worst nightmare as daughter run down on busy street
REACHING to answer the phone late last week, Rockhampton woman Shirley Johnston had no idea of the horror which awaited on the other end.
The mother-of-eight was anticipating the return of her 15-year-old daughter April to their Frenchville home from a friend’s place she was visiting nearby.
Instead, Ms Johnston would soon hear the voice of a complete stranger calling to inform her of a devastating accident the teen had been involved in.
April had been struck by a car at the Kerrigan St and Berserker St roundabout only moments earlier as she rode her bike – the driver immediately fleeing the scene.
She sustained significant injuries including a broken clavicle, bruises and scratches to her body, and some memory loss from the night of the accident.
“I raced down there and found her on the side of the road with quite a few people standing around, it was really scary.”
“I’ve been with her since she was in the hospital and she can’t even recall anything that happened, she just remembers leaving her friend’s place and waking up in the hospital,” revealed Ms Johnston.
As emergency services worked to treat the young girl, both residents of the street and those who stopped to assist at the scene were unable to provide details of the suspect.
“The police still don’t have any video footage of CCTV from any of the houses or witnesses,” she said.
“I’m not even sure if there’s anyone in the area who has CCTV, but we’d like if someone could come forward if they’ve seen anything. Even the smallest thing could help us out.”
Understandably distraught, Ms Johnston has since taken to social media to appeal for information which might further assist police in their hunt for the driver.
“I would really like for someone to come forward. There’s got to be someone out there that knows they’ve hit something or someone. I just need to know what happened,” she said.
“I know you think you’re in a lot of trouble, but my daughter needs to know that she wasn’t targeted and that it was just a horrible accident.”
The terrifying phone call, she added, was the one thing every parent regularly feared.
“I never thought I’d received a call like that. I never ever wanted to, and when I did, I was terrified and probably more hysterical than April.”
Now suffering bouts of anxiety, walking or biking anywhere is simply out of the question for young April.
“She’s freaking out, she doesn’t even want to go outside anymore because of this. She still comes out with me, but she won’t go out on a bike,” revealed Ms Johnston.
Ms Johnston extended her gratitude to those who stopped to help her young daughter, particularly the kind strangers who both sat with her daughter and vowed to repair her bike.
Anyone with information on the hit and run should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.