BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is speaking out about a hit and run that injured a woman in a wheelchair.
Police released surveillance video of a black Dodge Durango leaving the scene of the crash at Appenheimer Street and Fillmore Avenue on January 16th. Police say the SUV backed up to go around her, and hit her again as she pleaded for the driver to stop.
The vehicle, which had front-end damage, left the scene dragging parts of the wheelchair behind it.
Brown says he hopes the driver turns themselves in.
"I would appeal to the individual that was driving that vehicle. Perhaps they made a mistake, perhaps they weren't thinking about how serious what they did was. That person needs to search their heart and soul and come forward," said Brown, (D).
Police hope any auto repair shop, salvage yard, or parts supplier that had contact or worked with a vehicle matching the description since the crash will contact them. They can do so at the Buffalo Police Confidential Tip Call line: (716) 847-2255.
Police are investigating a hit and run accident that left a disabled senior citizen seriously injured. YNN's Ryan Whalen reports investigators are trying to identify the vehicle caught fleeing the scene.
Police are trying to identify a black Dodge Durango caught on a security camera speeding away from the scene of a January 16th accident.
"The vehicle came at a high rate of speed on Fillmore, made that left turn into her, just crushing her whole left side," said Roland Cercone, attorney.
Witnesses say the driver hit an elderly woman crossing Appenheimer Ave at Fillmore. She was knocked off her motorized wheelchair, then hit her once more before the driver took off, dragging the wheelchair down the street.
"I'm sure the driver that hit her probably thought that he killed her or was leaving her for dead when he left the scene," Cercone said.
"She's like family; a wonderful individual, smile that lights up the room when she comes in," said Pastor William Gillison, Mt. Olive Baptist Church.
Marlene Knox, 61, was less than a mile away from her church when she was hit, on her way home from Bible Study.
"She's had surgery on her shoulder, her arm and wrist, surgery on her hip and on her leg and ankle area as well," Cercone said.
Wednesday, Knox was discharged from Erie County Medical Center and is healing at a local nursing home.
But members of her parish still need closure.
"It just grieves us to know that a person could be struck like that and just left. That troubles us," said Gillison.
They're asking the driver of the vehicle to come forward so Knox isn't stuck with a mountain of bills.
"She was in the hospital for two weeks, had four surgeries, She's convalescing in a nursing home. Typically, the insurance that is applicable is from the driver that struck her," said Cercone.
But just as important, is the chance to forgive a person, they say, is clearly troubled.
"Knowing Marlene, after all she's gone through because of this accident, she'd forgive him, whoever this person is," Gillison said.
Police say the vehicle of interest had front end damage and are asking for information from any auto repair shops or salvage yards that may have seen the Durango.