Crash victim's family sues 6th Street bars - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Crash victim's family sues 6th Street bars

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A 13-year-old Austin girl is left in a vegetative state after being struck by a car. Her mother is now fighting to make sure other parents don't go through the same thing.

"I just one day, I wish I could just hear her say 'momma!' If I could just hear her call my name, I would come running," Kimberly Jenkins said.

Unfortunately, doctors have told Kimberly Jenkins she will never hear her daughter Ekia's voice again.

"She's just breathing. That's it. Nothing else," Jenkins said.

Jenkins says her 13 year old daughter used to be bold, unafraid to follow the crowd, and she loved fashion. She especially loved to sing and dance.

Jenkins says Ekia was looking forward to starting 8th grade and getting to go to the 8th grade dance.

"That's one thing I really wish she could've made it do that dance," Jenkins said.

In August, days before the school year began, Ekia had a sleepover. She and her friends were hanging out along the sidewalk of her apartment complex off Metric Boulevard in North Austin.

Police say 25-year-old Lauren Cherry struck Ekia and drove away.

"I actually seen her on the ground, she was gasping. So, I just started praying for god to keep her gasping until we made it to the hospital," Jenkins said.

Ekia suffered a traumatic brain injury. In October, her mother took her off life support. She had the funeral planned. But, Ekia was the one percent of patients, who despite not having any brain function, stayed alive.

"This is not the Kia that God gave me," Jenkins said.

The woman who struck Ekia returned to the scene while police were still collecting evidence. She was arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid.

The investigation continues. The district attorney's office will soon present the case to a grand jury for possible additional charges.

The family's attorneys say they've uncovered evidence Cherry was intoxicated. Jenkins has filed a lawsuit against Cherry and two 6th Street bars that allegedly over-served her.

"I wouldn't want another person to go through this again," Jenkins said.

As Jekins cares for her daughter, she constantly thinks of her daughter's dreams and the way things used to be.

"I've been thinking about all the memories of her. They play back like a video. It's not the same," Jenkins said.

When Ekia was released from the hospital, her bill was $3 million. Ekia's family is now living with her grandmother and uncle in a two bedroom apartment. They are in desperate need of better housing with wheelchair accommodations.

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