CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. (KTXL) - Lying in a hospital bed, It was a New Year's Eve Kelly Cass never could have foreseen.
On Thursday, she was riding her skateboard near Auburn Boulevard and Charwood Lane in Citrus Heights, Calif. Police say a suspected drunken driver, Angel Huerta, hit her with his car, sending her flying through his windshield and into the passenger seat.
The crash broke her arm, shattered bones in her legs and fractured her neck.
Her sister, Kayla Dowty, is just thankful she is alive. "Kelly, miraculously, has no head or face trauma," Dowty said.
Police said rather than stopping and helping Kelly, Huerta kept driving with the 27-year-old injured in the front seat of the car.
"Just as a human being that's hard to fathom," her mother, Cristie Cass, said.
Huerta kept driving and made it roughly three miles away to Mariposa Avenue as Kelly begged him to pull over. He eventually abandoned the car, running off and leaving her all alone. That's when she was able to call 911.
"She is the strongest, most determined person that I know," her mother said.
It didn't take much time until officers found Huerta, who was trying to make a run for it. They arrested him on suspicion of felony DUI, felony hit-and-run and kidnapping. He was already on parole for a prior DUI that seriously injured someone back in 2012 and has also been charged with violating his parole.
"I do hope that he doesn't have the chance to do this to anybody again," Cristie Cass said.
Recovering in the hospital, doctors still do not know if Kelly will be able to walk again, but her family is hopeful. "She's not out of the woods yet, of course," her mother said. "But so far everything has been going better than we could ever hope for. My heart is broken for her, for everything that she's going to have to go through. I know she's going to get through it. She just is that person."