February 17, 2011 in Washington Voices

Victim of Jan. 6 collision seeks Samaritan who tracked driver

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Alyson Hunt

Reach Alyson Hunt via e-mail to piah@ spokesman.com or call (509) 459-5427.

Alyson Hunt may be small, but she’s tough.

The 23-year-old works as a server at the Perry Street Café, and she’s a dedicated runner.

On Jan. 6 around 4 p.m. she was jogging east downtown on the sidewalk on Third Avenue. The light turned green in time for her to cross Browne Street, in the crosswalk, at the same time as it turned green for two lanes of traffic to turn south.

A car made that right turn and hit Hunt when she was in the middle of the crosswalk. And then drove off.

“I was halfway across the street when I got hit on the hip. I spun around and slid off the car, and fell in the street,” said Hunt. “The first thing I remember is hearing a lot of screaming, and I knew it wasn’t me. And then I thought, darn it, I broke my cell phone again.”

Bystanders rallied around Hunt, got her off the street and called 911.

Hunt is grateful for all the help she got at the scene of the collision, but there’s one person she didn’t get a chance to thank: the person who followed the car involved in the hit and run and made sure the driver was pulled over.

“Police told me that’s how he got arrested,” said Hunt. “That person was a good Samaritan, doing an altruistic deed when I really needed it. I just want to say thank you.”

She put a note in The Inlander’s Cheers and Jeers section hoping someone would come forward, but she hasn’t heard from anyone.

“I have lots of witnesses who gave their phone numbers and all their information so that’s not it,” said Hunt. “It just bugs me that I can’t tell this person thank you.”

Hunt said people helped her inside the Subway sandwich shop on the corner, covered her with their jackets to keep her warm before they called for help.

“When the ambulance got there I was telling them that I couldn’t afford an ambulance and I just wanted to go home,” said Hunt, who gets a little choked up talking about it. “But they said I had to go to the ER.”

It turned out that Hunt had a lot of contusions, plenty of “road-rash” as she calls it, and a separated shoulder.

“All in all I consider myself lucky, it could have been a lot worse,” Hunt said.

The Spokane Police Department said the driver, identified as Donald Cornett, has been charged with failure to yield the right of way. It’s not clear if there will be any other charges. Hunt has yet to get a copy of the police report.

A number of pedestrians have been hit by cars this winter, and that’s another reason why Hunt is sharing her story.

“I just wonder what is up with that?” she said. “It’s like some drivers can’t see you.”

Hunt’s family lives in Seattle. She moved to Spokane in 2005 to attend Eastern Washington University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She’s been working at the Perry Street Café since June, but she had to take some time off after the accident. Hunt said she relied on girlfriends to help her get dressed and put on a little makeup.

“My shoulder was really bad. There were so many things I couldn’t do,” Hunt said. Her first day back at work was Feb. 1.

“They have been great here at work,” said Hunt. “They have just been awesome about everything.”

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