[Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct date for the fundraiser: Sunday, April 30.]
This weekend, her co-workers are raising money for her recovery.
Authorities said Kellie Brown, 37, of Cleveland, suffered a pelvic fracture and brain bleeding when she was run over by Megan K. Delaney. In the early hours of Feb. 12, the two had left P&M Junction along West 130th Street after a night of karaoke — one of Brown’s favorite things.
Authorities found Brown unconscious in the street, struggling to breathe, her torso bloody from road rash. Nearby were broken plastic car parts and an oily substance presumably from a vehicle. She was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. Delaney allegedly fled.
“When the police showed up that night, they thought she was dead. The fact that she’s with us today is a miracle,” said Debra Cline, who works with Brown at a Strongsville salon. “She’s one tough cookie. … If anybody can recover from this, it would be her.”
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A bar patron told police he saw Brown and Delaney leave the bar that night. He later heard the SUV crash into the side of the building. He came out to see the driver reversing into Brown, knocking her into the middle of the street, according to a police report. The SUV then sped forward, running Brown over. A person living in the apartment across the street witnessed the same thing, according to the report.
Cline said it’s believed Delaney that night fought with others inside and outside the bar.
Brown, who’s since been transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, recalls getting in Delaney’s car, and being punched by Delaney, Cline said. But Brown can’t remember if she was pushed out of the car or if she got out on her own.
Cline said the vehicle first crushed Brown’s pelvis, then drove back over her skull. The injury has hampered Brown’s short-term memory, Cline said.
While collecting Brown’s phone as evidence, officers noted she had received an online payment of $100 from Delaney, sent an hour before she was injured. A Facebook account suspected to be Delaney’s also attempted to call Brown’s phone while police were still on-scene, according to the report.
A police database then pointed officers to Delaney’s Parma address and her registered vehicle, a gray 2020 Kia Sportage. Officers went to her home that night, but didn’t find her there. Court records show she wasn’t arrested until Feb. 23, almost two weeks later.
The 40-year-old Delaney was indicted in March on felony counts of aggravated vehicular assault and for failing to stop after an accident.
She was given a $10,000 bond in the Cleveland Municipal Court, which was bumped up to a $50,000 at her arraignment in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. She posted that bond after her arraignment on April 13.
A pre-trial hearing set for this week was continued into May, as attorneys continue to collect and share evidence in the case.
How you can help
Brown has since undergone three surgeries to repair her shattered pelvis, Cline said. She won’t be able to stand on her own for at least another two to three months, she said — but once she’s able, she’ll start rehabilitation.
“It’s a very, very long road ahead — at least another year of rehab before they can talk about returning to work or not,” Cline said.
But other aspects of her recovery are progressing “miraculously,” she said. Brown is able to speak and still has her long-term memory.
Brown’s coworkers at The Spa at Springfield have organized a fundraiser for her recovery, “Karaoke for Kellie”. It’s set for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at The Local Bar, 14571 Pearl Road, Strongsville. They plan to wear rainbow hair extensions in honor of Brown’s brightly colored locks.
“Of course we’re having karaoke, because Kellie was a singer and loved karaoke,” Cline said.
A $50 ticket includes wings, pasta, salad and drinks. There will also be door prizes, a raffle, side boards and gift baskets. They expect to have sold 200 tickets by Sunday — enough to pack the bar to capacity.
A previous online fundraiser coordinated by the family also raised “quite a bit of money,” Cline said.
“After such a horrible thing that a person can do to another person, it’s very touching how much the rest of the community has come to support Kellie,” she said. “The love from everyone has just been tremendous.”
Tickets for the Sunday fundraiser are available at the salon, 20926 Drake Road, Strongsville, but some door tickets may be available at the bar. Donations for Brown’s recovery will also continue to be accepted at the spa, Cline said.