Family: A ‘wonder’ hit-and-run victim survived

Victoria Matthews
Victoria Matthews in the hospital after being involved in a hit-and-run crash on US-131 in Grand Rapids. (Courtesy Matthews' family - May 29, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a woman who was seriously hurt in a hit-and-run crash on US-131 in Grand Rapids is pleading for the driver responsible to come forward.

“How could you hit somebody and not have a heart to stop for them? Because that’s someone’s life,” the victim’s sister, Lachelle Terrell, wondered on Monday.

Michigan State Police say that around 2:15 a.m. Sunday, a car trying to change lanes hit the vehicle that Victoria Matthews was riding in, shoving it into the Hall Street overpass supports. Matthews was pinned in and had to be freed by firefighters.

Grand Rapids hit-and-run
Emergency responders on the scene of the crash on US-131 in Grand Rapids. (May 28, 2017)

“That wasn’t a normal accident,” Matthews’ brother, Ellis McDonald, said. “That was a life-threatening accident.”

Family members found out about the crash early Sunday morning and rushed to the Grand Rapids hospital where she was taken.

“I got there and she was in surgery,” Terrell, Matthews’ sister, told 24 Hour News 8 during an interview at the hospital. “We always think the worst when something like that happens.”

Matthews was in surgery for six hours. She sustained a punctured lung, broken leg, broken pelvic bone and other injuries, but is expected to survive — though she has a long recovery ahead of her. Tuesday, Matthews’ condition was upgraded to fair.

Matthews’ cousin was driving the car and was not hurt.

“It’s a wonder and we thank God for keeping her, because neither one of them should have made it out alive,” Terrell said.

Victoria Matthews
An undated courtesy photo of Victoria Matthews.

Matthews’ family says she won’t be able to work for quite some time, but they are confident she will be strong for her four children, who range in age from 1 to 14.

“She’s a fighter. She’s fighting, and we’re not doubting that God is going to pull her through,” Terrell said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help support Matthews and her family.

Meanwhile, police are still looking for the driver of the other vehicle, who didn’t  stop at the scene.

“You did it. Just own up to it,” said Jolisa McDonald, Matthews’ sister.

The suspect vehicle is described as a dark-colored sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Malibu, with very large chrome rims. Troopers say the vehicle will also have damage to its right front side.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Michigan State Police Rockford Post at 616.866.4411.