Hit and Run Leaves Family of Eight Without Van

8 years 2 months 1 week ago Friday, October 01 2010 Oct 1, 2010 Friday, October 01, 2010 7:42:31 PM CDT October 01, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Two Columbia parents and their five children are holding out hope someone will come forward to help them get back into transportation after an alleged hit-and-run driver destroyed their van. Kelly Smith and her husband Dominic said they were asleep when a crash woke them at 2 a.m. Thursday morning. Kelly rushed outside and made an alarming discovery. Her family's only vehicle lay in a mangled mess, feet from where she had parked it in her driveway before going to bed.

"It was our family vehicle. It's the only thing I had to take my kids to school in," said Smith.

Another car was flipped over in her driveway with smoke rising from it. That's when Smith said she saw a man take off running. Police said that man was 24-year-old Anthony Webb. Police said they apprehended Webb at the scene as he tried to flee. They said he drove his car into the Smith's van. Police said he was arrested for careless and imprudent driving and faces felony charges for fleeing.

"The reason it's a felony with the fleeing the scene is because there was so much damage done to the victims car and that's what constitutes it as a felony or a misdemeanor," said Officer Jill Wieneke with the Columbia Police Department.

"The cars in half," said Smith

Wieneke said Webb made several statements to police about the accident. The police report says Webb claimed he had a seizure, and claimed a couple car jacked him. The police report does not say drugs or alcohol were a factor.

The Smiths are angry at the costs they bear because of Webb's actions. "He doesn't realize the damages he's caused everybody," Kelley Smith said. "There are innocent people paying the price for actions that are so dumb.,"

The Smiths are both full time students. Kelly is attending Columbia College to become a nurse and Dominic is in school to be a police officer. They say they had just paid off their van, something they are very proud of.

"We have five kids. It wasn't an easy thing to do," Smith explained.

The Smiths said when they called Webb's insurance company they found his policy expired in May. They only have liability insurance on their car, leaving them wondering how they will pay for another van.

"I'm hoping someone will come forward and help me try and get another van and get my family back on the road and my life back together," said Kelly Smith. 

The Smiths are getting a little help. The children's car seats were also destroyed in the crash, but the Columbia Fire Department donated five car seats to the Smiths for when they get another vehicle.

The skid marks on the Smith's front lawn and the broken glass scattered through the grass are the only signs left of the accident that the Smiths will have to live with for a very long time.

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