Family plead for help after 'horrific' hit-and-run in central Edmonton
The family of a young Edmonton woman in the ICU is asking for help finding the driver that hit her and then drove away.
Alexandra Bonilla's life changed forever on August 31, when she was longboarding near her home close to 96 Street and 115 Avenue.
She had just called her dad to let him know she was out riding when she was hit by a car, which then left the scene eastbound on 115 Avenue.
"They had just got off the phone," said Julia Gevenich, Bonilla's sister-in-law. "He said he just had this gut feeling to text her, 'Message me when you get home, so I know you made it home safe.'
"It just gives me goosebumps."
Bonilla's dad didn't hear from her that night, and learned the next day that she had been hit and seriously hurt.
Gevenich said the extent of the injuries had the family fearing the worst.
Almost all Bonilla's ribs were broken, as well as her pelvis, a femur, her collarbone and several vertebrae in her back. Both her lungs had been punctured and she suffered serious internal bleeding in her chest.
"We thought we were coming to the hospital and there wouldn't be brain activity," Gevenich said.
'SICKENING AND INFURIATING'
Gevenich said it's difficult for the family to wrap their heads around how badly Bonilla was hurt and the "horrific" way she was left behind by the driver.
Visiting the scene of the hit-and-run, she said she could see that the car had to reverse and drive around Bonilla to leave.
Some neighbours heard the crash and ran to the window, and Gevenich said they told her they saw the driver stop briefly down the road.
"He had pulled over and was getting out and looking at the damage to his car and then was looking back at Alexandra, and as they ran outside he jumped back in his car and sped off," she said.
"It takes a different kind of person to actually get out of their car and look back and still decide to drive away and not call 911, not do anything. It's really, really sickening and infuriating."
Alexandra Bonilla was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in August. Her family are asking the public for help supporting her recovery and finding the person who hit her. (Source: Julia Gevenich)Since being hit, Bonilla has undergone multiple surgeries and remains in the intensive care unit and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Gevenich said it's unlikely she will leave the hospital by Christmas. When she does leave, it's not certain if she will ever be able to go back to her normal life.
"We don't know what her mobility is going to look like, she's going to be on long-term disability," she added. "It's going to be a long time before she can walk.
"When that time does come she's going to have to re-learn."
'DESPERATE FOR HELP'
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with Barilla's bills on her long road to rehabilitation.
"Even if it was just her femur, that alone is going to be over a year of recovery," Gevenich said. "She still has to pay her mortgage, her utilities, she's got a puppy, she's got kitties.
"All those bills don't stop for those things."
The family is also asking for help finding the driver and getting some closure.
The vehicle has been described as a silver car, but police do not have a description for the driver.
Gevenich said the car's radiator might have been damaged in the crash, and she's asking any auto body shops to report suspicious damage they might have seen on vehicles matching the description.
"[We're] just trying to get out and reach anybody that could help," she said. "Or, even if the person that did this sees this, to have a conscience and try to make something right.
"We're just desperate for any help."
The family and EPS are asking for any dash cam or security footage from that area between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on August 31.
Anyone with footage or information is asked to call EPS at 780-423-4567.
Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Evan Kenny
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