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15-year-old injured in Killearn Lakes hit and run shares message for driver

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 11:14 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee teenager who was left in critical condition following a hit and run spoke out for the first time since the accident.

You may remember when it happened back on Nov. 8 just before sunset. Investigators said three teenagers had been walking along Deer Lake Road in the Killearn Lakes neighborhood when one of them was hit by a truck. The driver sped away from the scene, and 15-year-old Olivia Rose Beidel was left in a coma for 13 days.

She does not remember the day that will undoubtedly have an impact on the rest of her life, but on Friday, despite having a voice hardly louder than a whisper, she shared an update on her recovery and her message for whoever was behind the wheel.

“She is a real fighter,” Sandra Moore, Beidel’s guardian, said.

The 15-year-old is now recovering at home just a block away from where the accident happened.

“I’m still overcoming just walking again and moving my arm. It’s been pretty difficult,” Beidel told WCTV’s Katie Kaplan. “My goal is to be able to get up after I fall down because at this point, I’m not able to do that yet.”

Beidel has a long road to full recovery, but she is making miraculous progress. Especially considering she suffered a brain injury, broken bones, and could not even bear weight on her left leg just a month ago.

Moore credits it to Beidel’s work ethic and said in the three weeks she has been home from the rehabilitation facility, Beidel has been dedicated to working on her mobility. She is able to walk around without her walker for short periods of time.

“I just have been so hopeful we’ll get our girl back and now I am confident we’ll get our girl back,” said Moore through tears.

It has been months since the incident, but there are still many unanswered questions. Including who was behind the wheel.

“The 8th of February will be 3 months from the accident and we still have no leads,” Moore said. “But the person surely now knows what they did, and I wonder what’s going on in their mind.”

A new billboard, offering a $5,000 reward for an arrest, now looms near the I-10 flyover. Her neighborhood is littered with signs, pleading with information on the suspect. The county has installed a bumper on the sidewalk near the crime scene and is conducting a traffic survey of the roadway to monitor speeds, said Commissioner Brian Welch.

Meanwhile, Beidel is trying her hardest to move on and shared this message for the driver who has changed her life forever.

“I would like to tell them that it’s ok. I’m not angry and I don’t find any disgust in them,” Beidel said.

The teen has been making an effort to go back to online school but said she has been struggling a bit due to an inability to concentrate and a decline in her eyesight following the incident. However, she is determined to give it her best shot.

A $5,000 reward is now being offered for any information that can lead to an arrest. Investigators said they are looking for a dark-colored truck of an unknown make and model that would likely have damage on the front driver’s side where the impact was.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Florida Highway Patrol at 850-518-5748.

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