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Family hopes witnesses step forward in hit-and-run crash

77-year-old woman fighting for her life
Posted: 10:42 PM, Feb 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-02 09:19:51Z

A family is pleading for justice after their mother is nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Around 7 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 23, Henrietta Thompson, 77, was hit by a car while crossing 45th Street at Greenwood Avenue in West Palm Beach. The car never stopped and fled the scene.

Over a week later, West Palm beach Police and her family are still searching for leads on who did this to her.

"She loves the beach. She loves dogs. She's just a healthy, outdoors kind of person," said Jove Tweddle, Henrietta's son.

Jove and his Corina drove hundreds of miles from Macon, Georgia to be by her side in the ICU at St. Mary's Medical Center. They're staying in a hotel for now as they try to support his mother.

"My wife just jumped in a van and headed down here as soon as we got the news, without a plan,” he said. "I don't know what's going to happen so I don't know what to do."

Jove said his mother loves to ride bikes, walk and spend a lot of time outdoors. He believes she was trying to get to the bus stop to catch a bus when the incident happened.

"In my opinion, of all the places I've lived, this is one of the most dangerous places I've ever driven a car," said Jove. "I've had people shaking their fists at me and cutting me off and blowing their horns."

Right now, Henrietta is in respiratory failure and is on breathing machine. She's in critical but stable condition. She also has bruises and several broken bones including a broken leg and broken ribs.

"Her bottom lip was almost torn off, so it's stitched up," said Jove.

She opened her eyes for the first time a couple of days ago.

"She opened one eye and she looked at me and made eye contact and I told her that I loved her," said Jove. "She saw me and recognized me and that meant everything." 

Officer James Ingrassia is still searching for more leads.

"As of right now, we're looking for anybody and everybody that saw something, heard something," he said.

The car was last seen heading east on 45th Street. During our interview with the family, we witnessed drivers speeding and honking at each other at the very intersection where Henrietta was hit.

"For drivers and pedestrians alike, everybody's just has got to pay more attention. Put down the cellphones, take the earbuds out of your ears, just be aware of your surroundings," said Officer Ingrassia.

Henrietta has 16 grandkids and great grandkids. While her family prays she'll pull through, they hope drivers can learn from their story.

"I wish everybody would stop being so angry and in such a hurry. Just slow down and enjoy life and consider how dangerous their driving is. And how possible it is to hurt or kill someone because they're so wrapped up in their world," said Jove. "I hope someone may have seen something or the person that hit her may be feeling really guilty right now, because they know they hit someone and were afraid to stop. I'm hoping they come forward and do the right thing."

If you know anything or could've possibly witnessed the incident on Jan. 23, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.