Teen critically injured when trying to get turtles off road - KCTV5 News

Teen critically injured when trying to get turtles off road

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A 17-year-old Lawrence girl is hospitalized in critical condition after she was hit by a car while trying to help two turtles get off a road.

The Douglas County Sheriff's office says the accident happened Thursday afternoon in Douglas County southeast of Lawrence.

Lt. Steve Lewis says the girl was flown to Overland Park Regional Medical Center. A statement issued by the hospital on behalf of the girl's parents said that she is improving and they are grateful for the outpouring of support.

Lewis says when the girl stopped to help the turtle, a vehicle driven by a 36-year-old Lawrence woman hit her.

Elizabeth Mason was in court Friday afternoon after being charged with driving with a suspended license and no proof of insurance.

Cathy Johnson, who lives in the area, saw the two small box turtles on the road as she pulled into her driveway. She said she thought about helping them herself but feared the dangerous road.

She's heartbroken by what occurred.

"I was devastated that something like that could happen to such a young person," Johnson said."I just hope the little girl is OK."

Neighbors were also devastated that a young girl doing something so altruistic was hurt.

Residents say the hill where the teen was struck is dangerous due to poor visibility and they've had close calls while out walking.

"It's just ain't fair. It ain't fair," LaDonna Lickteig said.

Grady and Nancy Walker issued a statement about their daughter's injures.

Our 17-year-old daughter was critically injured on Thursday after being hit by a car in Lawrence, Kansas. She was doing something children often do  -  being kind and compassionate to an animal, which is her nature. She remains in critical condition in ICU at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, but we are grateful that she is continuing to improve. We would like to sincerely thank our friends, family and the community for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We feel your prayers and support and could not get through this without you all. As she continues her recovery, we ask for privacy so we can focus on helping her get through this long road to healing.

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