by: Rachel Stockman Updated:
ATLANTA - Two best friends are recovering at Grady Memorial Hospital after being severely injured by an alleged hit-and-run driver.
Doctors were forced to amputate the leg of Adrienne Smith, 22. Brianna Johnson, 21, suffers from severe injuries to her neck and pelvis.
“I’m angry, but I don’t have time to be angry my focus is on the girls,” Smith’s father Reginald Smith told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.
The incident happened shortly before midnight at Rose Circle Park on Peeples Street in southwest Atlanta.
“They were just sitting out here conversing and were struck by the vehicle at a pretty high rate of speed,” said Atlanta Police Capt. Scott Kreher.
Police said the driver came around a curb, left the road and hit the women. The driver continued, plowing into the brick wall and dragged the women up a small embankment. A chained link fence and a fire hydrant were struck during the crash.
Neighbors said Smith and Johnson would often sit at the park to talk.
“They tell each other everything that is why they went to that wall to talk,” Jane Post, who is Brianna Johnson’s mother, said.
“They have tubes down their throat so they can’t communicate, so they’ve been trying to write to find out how each other is doing. They want answer to questions,” Amy Smith, Adrienne’s mother, said.
At the time of the accident, two neighbors ran over to help the women.
“There was a man that came that was right be her side , praying and talking he and I’m sure he was just as afraid as she was,” Smith said.
Charles Ward is the neighbor, who came to Adrienne Smith’s side.
“You just do what you have to do, you try to help your fellow man,” said Ward.
Police suspect the driver stole the van from an AVIS rental.
“It may have been an inside job,” said Officer P.R. Boyd with the Atlanta Police Department. They are still searching for the suspect.
“It’s a different thing when it comes to your door. You read about it and hear about it, when it comes to your door,” Reginald Smith said.