Mother: TU Student Almost Died When Car Hit Her On Sidewalk

Friday, September 11th 2015, 10:43 pm
By: Richard Clark

The mother of a University of Tulsa student tells News On 6 her daughter almost died last week when a car drove up onto the sidewalk and hit her.

Deana Mason says her daughter, Abbie, was drawing with chalk on a sidewalk 150 feet from the road on the evening of September 1, 2015, when the car hit her. 

Tulsa Police said the driver was an 81-year-old woman having some sort of medical problem. They said the woman's family had been looking for her and was about to file a missing person's report when the accident happened. Deana Mason says a Tulsa Police officer told her this week he will soon turn his report over to the district attorney's office which will decide what, if any, charges to file against the driver. 

9/1/2015: Related Story: TU Student Hit By Car While Chalking Sidewalk

Abbie is back home in Kansas City recuperating under the non-stop care of her parents and help from her siblings. Deana Mason said her daughter isn't ready to talk about the incident, and may never be. Instead, Deana sent the News On 6 an email about how her daughter is doing. With Deana's permission, we've posted the email in its entirety:

Abbie Mason graduated from North Kansas City High School in the North Kansas City School District in 2014.  She graduated with the International Baccalaureate diploma.  She went to college with 34 credit hours - 30 from her IB diploma and 4 from her AP Statistics class.  She is currently an Applied Mathematics major.  She hopes to finish her degree then study for a semester or two in South America - probably in Argentina or Chile - to complete a Spanish minor.  The Applied Mathematics degree will give Abbie many options for life after college.

Abbie has completed one full year at the University of Tulsa. While there, she joined Sigma Phi Lambda, a Christian sorority.  She was elected as chaplain for this year, and she hopes to be able to continue participating in chapter activities via phone conference (initially) or Skype/Facetime (when she has recovered from her concussion) until she can return to campus.  She was active in TU Treks, an outdoor recreational and service group, her Freshman year. Abbie participated in enough TU Treks activities to qualify for a Spring Break trip to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and surrounding areas, which was paid for by the university.  Abbie hoped to continue to be involved in TU Treks this year, but her injuries may prevent her from participating fully when she returns to school.  Abbie is involved in a weekly RUF Bible study. She has a close group of friends and enjoys attending campus activities and events with them.

Abbie attends Sequoyah Hills Baptist Church and is a member of their praise team.  She had hoped to start working with the children's department this semester.  This is still a goal of hers when she returns to TU.

On the evening of Sept. 1st, Abbie was sitting 150 feet from the roadway on a campus sidewalk, "chalking" an invitation for girls to join her Christian sorority.  Her back was to the roadway as she focused on her chalk drawing while visiting with her older sister via phone.  Abbie was hit from behind by an 81-year-old woman with dementia who had driven onto the campus sidewalk, ran over Abbie, and continued driving on campus.  Abbie was immediately given care by a TU staff member who saw the woman drive onto the campus sidewalk and a private citizen with EMT training who happened to be driving by and witnessed the incident.  When they reached Abbie, she was lying facedown on the sidewalk, was not breathing, and was without a pulse.  When they turned Abbie over to start CPR, Abbie gasped, started breathing, and regained consciousness.  Abbie does not remember anything about the incident.  Her first recollection of that evening is sitting in a room with a bunch of people (her words) asking her how she was.

Abbie will be taking a medical leave of absence for the Fall 2015 semester.  She has a grade 3 concussion, a broken right scapula, "road rash" over much of her body, chipped and loose teeth, stitches in her forehead, staples in the back of her head, bruises over her lower body, and 6-8 staples in her bottom which are closing a large gash which we believe was where the car ran over her body.  She has seen a doctor and dermatologist and will need to see a dentist, neurologist, wound care specialist, orthopedic surgeon, and have physical therapy after her scapula has healed.  

Abbie is recovering a little each day.  Her wounds are extensive and painful, and she requires 24-hour supervision and help.  Her concussion prevents her from reading and makes watching TV or using her cell phone difficult.  She spends most of the day on the couch in a darkened, quiet room, resting or sleeping.  We are hopeful for a complete recovery, but she still has a long road ahead.

I have attached three pictures of Abbie taken the afternoon of August 23rd, the weekend she moved back to school.  The TU monument sign on which she is sitting is right next to the sidewalk where Abbie was run over.  The picture of her climbing on the monument is sad to see as it is now difficult for her to stand, much less climb onto a monument.  It will be a wonderful day when Abbie is recovered enough to be able to climb back on the TU sign.