The 18-year-old Ottawa High School student body president said she was running with a friend after school Monday when she was struck by a small passenger car in the intersection of East 15th and South Cedar streets.
“It was a burgundy-colored car, and it happened so fast all I had time to do was push my friend out of the way,” Thomas said. “The car hit me right on the knees, and I rolled over the hood.”
Thomas, who was walking with a noticeable limp Wednesday afternoon, said the motorist didn’t stop after the collision left her laying in the street.
“When I landed in the street, I didn’t know if other cars were coming, so I got up as fast as I could,” Thomas said. “It was pretty scary. The guy didn’t even stop long enough for me to get a look at his face. But I got his tag number.”
A distance runner for OHS, Thomas said two women in another vehicle stopped to assist her.
“They wrote down the tag number for me and called 911,” she said. “I didn’t really get a chance to thank them. They were good samaritans.”
Ottawa police located the suspect and arrested David Cook, 54, Ottawa, in connection with the hit-and-run incident, which occurred about 3:49 p.m. Monday. Cook was charged with duty to give information and render aid, duty to report an accident and disobeying a stop sign, according to a police report. Cook was cited and released with a notice to appear in court.
At 4:06 p.m. Tuesday, Thomas reported to police someone had struck her parked and unoccupied 1999 Mustang in the OHS parking lot at 1120 S. Ash St., Ottawa.
Because the motorist who struck her vehicle did not report the incident, it also was classified as a hit-and-run by police.
“I was pretty bummed,” Thomas said. “It was a brand new bumper, and it got cracked and had a few scratches.”
She was still feeling the effects of Monday’s hit-and-run on Wednesday afternoon.
Thomas, who declined medical treatment at the scene Monday, said she suffered some bumps and bruises, and has an aching back and sore knees from the incident.
“I woke up really sore the next morning,” Thomas said. “I’m just glad it was a small car.”
Doug Carder is senior writer for The Herald. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org