Hit-and-run driver leaves 19-year-old in critical condition

Updated:

Emily Bowman suffered a serious brain injury after an alleged drunk driver hit her while she was walking to a friend's house in Athens.

ATHENS, Ga. - A 19-year-old  is fighting for her life after being struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver in Athens early Saturday morning, according to police.

Emily Bowman, of Cherokee County, was walking eastbound on Oak Street between Carr and Oconee streets, police said. She was walking in the grass, off the roadway, police said.

On Monday morning, family told Channel 2 that Bowman was making small improvements. Bowman is at the Athens Regional Medical Center.  Her mother says she remains unconscious, and is still breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. Family received CAT scan results, which show her brain swelling has not changed since Sunday.

A red truck driver traveling eastbound on Oak Street left the roadway and struck Bowman from behind, then fled the scene after the incident, police said. Witnesses provided a description of the truck. Police found it a short time later.  An investigator showed Stockman the back of a red truck filled with empty beer cans.

On Monday morning, police executed a search warrant at the home of the suspected driver’s parents. Through the warrant, they were able to obtain the suspected driver’s cellphone, which they hope will provide critical evidence, according to police.

“We are going to record all the contacts on the phone since that incident,” explained Athens-Clarke County police Sgt. Von Anderson.

“We would love to make contact with someone that was called or texted,” Anderson told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.

Dale Bowman said his daughter had gone to Athens to celebrate a friend’s birthday when the crash happened.

“They rushed her into surgery,” he said. “She’s been on a ventilator since,” he said.

Bowman said he hasn't left his daughter's side since the incident. By Monday morning, he said his daughter's neurosurgeon told him her brain is still swelling, which is not a good sign.

Friends of the victim said that it's horrifying to see what she looks like now.

"Nobody struck a human being like that and didn't realize it happened," said Anderson.

 Police suspect the driver was drinking. They also are trying obtain surveillance video from the night of the incident.

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