Norman Woman Hit By Runaway Driver Faces Long Recovery
NORMAN, Oklahoma - On May 21st, Charlene Hughes went to check her mailbox. It’s located across the street from her rural Norman home. On her way back, police say she was hit by a Cadillac SRX and then left on the side of the road with critical injures.
Her family say she has already been at OU Medical for over a week, and now she will be flown by a medical helicopter to Lincoln, Nebraska for specialized rehabilitation of her spinal cord. Charlene’s husband adds there are no resources in Oklahoma that offer what she needs.
“She can move her toes on demand. She moves her right arm, but not her hand yet. Those nerve endings have not responded yet,” says James Hughes.
That medical flight will cost the family about $15,000, and they say that’s on top of growing medical costs.
A day after the hit-and-run, officers say 38-year-old Misti Dawn Miller turned herself in. However, she has not been arrested because investigators are waiting to see what happens in regards to Charlene’s health.
“The investigators have told me that they are working on it. So, I take that as a good sign. It'll happen pretty quick I imagine,” says Hughes.
Loved one’s have hosted fundraisers for the Hughes family and even made a GoFundMe page.
Thursday, Charlene got a special visit from a small superhero who’s using all his power to help. 3-year old Tucker is like a family member to Charlene. He broke out his piggy bank to help and hopes others donate too.
Charlene can’t speak because she is still on a ventilator, but was overjoyed to see Tucker bring his ukulele and play one of his favorite songs for her.
“Tucker brought a pretty good smile to her face,” says James.
Family says their home will need to be modified to accommodate Charlene’s medical needs. They could also face the expense of 24-hour care in the future.
Based on court records, News 9 has also tracked down another hit-and-run victim involved with Misti Miller. Rick Luster confirms in 2002, Miller hit him near I-40 and Choctaw Road and drove off.
Here is an email exchange of his statements:
- Reporter: Do you remember what it felt like to be abandon on the side of the road back in 2002 after being hit by Misti Miller?
- Luster: I was very disappointed that she would get out of her vehicle, walk around it, then get back in her vehicle & drive off without even checking on me. Thank goodness for those good Samaritans that did stop.
- Reporter: Knowing this happened again just a week ago, what’s been going through your mind?
- Luster: Tremendous heartache for that family.
- Reporter: Any words for the family, as you known what they are going through?
- Luster: Our hearts & prayers are with them. Can’t even imagine the grief that is being suffered by this family and we pray for mercy and justice.”