Exclusive: ‘There’s No Excuse,’ Hit-and-Run Victim Says

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LAKE TWP., Ohio—It’s been a tough road to recovery for Cynthia Hernandez.

“I broke my main bone here in the front. There’s a blood clot in my calf. From my knee down here is a metal plate and screws, I think,” said Hernandez.

Late Saturday night, Hernandez, 23, was walking across Mount Pleasant Street outside Uniontown when she was hit by a car.

“I remember the lights. And I remember getting hit. But then after that, I blacked out. And I don’t remember nothing until I woke up,” said Hernandez.

Police say the man behind the wheel was James Knappenberger, 19, of North Canton.

He fled the scene, leaving Hernandez in a pile of broken bones and lacerations.

“This side of her head was full of blood. And her body, the stomach was in the snow,” said Naom Tal, her husband.

“I was numb. And really cold. All I remember is seeing a lot of blood. And I could feel my teeth coming out of my mouth,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez is recovering at the neurosurgical step down unit at Aultman Hospital.

She is listed in stable condition.

Hospital officials do not know when she will be released.

Two days after the accident, Knappenberger surrendered to police after seeing Fox 8’s coverage of the hit-and-run.

He was arrested on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

“There is no excuse. That could have been him. What if someone did that to him? I have a daughter that I might never have seen again. And a husband. And family. And he left me there to die,” said Hernandez.

And while Knappenberger awaits his day in court at the end of the month, Hernanandez awaits the day she is well enough to go home and see her little girl.

“I shouldn’t have to suffer all this this time for him to just go. I’m glad he turned himself in. He’ll get what he deserves,” says Hernandez.

Knappenberger faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 31.

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