24-year-old Mashayla Harper lost her baby 8 months into her pregnancy after a hit-and-run crash on her way home from her baby shower.
Sgt. J.D. Carter of the Jones County Sherriff’s Department told PEOPLE that the Mississippi teacher was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after someone found her lying on the road. It was a 2005 Nissan Titan that struck her Honda Accord before 6 pm local time.
The fourth-grade teacher was driving from her baby shower when the hit-and-run driver struck her vehicle.
According to Sgt. Carter, 33-year-old James Gilbert ran away on foot but Sheriff Joe Berlin managed to contact his wife hours later.
Gilbert was charged with fleeing the scene of an accident that caused injuries or death.
He is also being held on a $100,000 bond, which could be increased depending on the results of his blood test.
The driver admitted that he had consumed alcohol before driving. “I was scared,” he said to the local outlet The Laurel-Leader Call when asked why he left the scene. “I’m very sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Harper was taken to South Central Regional Medical Center and was then transferred to Forrest General where she had surgery.
Her father, Maurice Pruitt Sr., posted an emotional message on Facebook along with pictures from Harper’s baby shower.
“To see our baby go from this being the happiest day if her life to I.C.U. in a matter of minutes was a complete tragedy,” Pruitt wrote.
“That idiot hit her head on and left her out there on that road to die. We are grateful for the individual that happened to be in the area hunting to come to her aid, otherwise we may not be sitting in I.C.U. praying as she fight for her life.”
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