Police, victim search for clues in June hit-and-run

2012-07-16T19:30:00Z 2012-07-24T18:28:31Z Police, victim search for clues in June hit-and-runJeff Burton jeff.burton@nwi.com, (219) 548-4354 nwitimes.com

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | Every time she moves, Gabrielle Bigman is reminded of what she's been told happened to her the night of June 11.

"Everything just kind of hurts," the 21-year-old Liberty Township woman said.

Porter County sheriff's police believe Bigman was hit by a 1992 to 1995 Honda Civic sedan while she was out running in the 1000 block of North County Road 200 West. The driver took off, police said, leaving parts from the car strewn in the road and Bigman unconscious in a ditch.

A month later, police still have no leads in the case and Bigman can't remember the crash.

"I remember seeing headlights, but they were in the distance," she said. "The next thing, I came to and I felt a lot of pain."

Bigman said she had just given her 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, a bath and decided to go for a run before tucking her in for the night.

She was about a quarter-mile from her home when the crash occurred. Bigman said she vividly remembers waking up alone in a deep ditch along a county road that has few drivers who don't live in the area.

"I looked down and saw the bone in my leg and I lifted it up and saw it was all funky," she said. "I knew I wasn't going to walk away. I was just yelling for help. I didn't think anyone was going to come get me."

Bigman estimates she was lying in the ditch about 20 minutes before a passing driver heard her screams, found her and called 911.

Bigman's mother, Carolyn Bigman, was at home watching her granddaughter and said she began to get nervous as time passed and her daughter didn't return from her run.

She had dressed her granddaughter and was getting ready to get in the car to go looking for her when she got a call from a sheriff's officer.

"I knew there was something wrong," she said.

Gabrielle Bigman was taken to Porter hospital in Valparaiso, where she was treated for a broken leg, a broken neck and a separated shoulder.

During her two-week hospitalization, Bigman had a titanium rod placed in her right leg from her knee to her ankle.

Shattered vertebrae in her neck still haven't healed, her mother said, and may require more surgery in the coming weeks.

Bigman, who worked as a restaurant server before the crash, said she hopes she can make as full a recovery as possible but still wants to know what happened to her that warm June night.

"Somebody's got to know something," she said.

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