Mae Baham went the extra mile last week to save her granddaughter’s life. She saved the 8-year-old child from a dangerous driver, but she was struck violently in the process. Now, she lies in a coma in a California hospital.
That very grateful granddaughter, Emonie, suffered a fractured leg and is plagued by nightmares since the accident last week, her great-aunt Karen Baham told ABC News.
Emonie is “traumatized” and every night wakes up from nightmares crying, “always seeing the moment her grandmother got hit and knocked unconscious on the street.” She is recovering from her injuries, but while Mae lies in a coma — fighting for her life, her family says — she is asking for Baham, NBC Los Angeles reported.
Police are still looking for the driver who struck Mae Baham, 55, and her grandchild, as well as his likely shattered and dented vehicle. They are also examining security footage from near the scene of the crime to determine if it captured the collision.
The accident happened just before Thanksgiving Day in Inglewood, located not far from Los Angeles. Baham and Emonie were crossing the street within a marked crosswalk, a few blocks from the police station, on their way to breakfast at 5:30 a.m. when someone ran a red light and barreled right into the pair, ABC 13 reported.
The little girl described to a local new station what happened when Baham saved her life — and suffered severe injuries that plunged the grandmother into a coma.
“We just got hit and she pushed me out of the way so I wouldn’t get hit. She took the chance so she could get hit. I flew over the car and my leg started hurting.”
Witnesses said the driver initially pulled over after striking Mae and her grandchild but fled the scene after that moment’s pause.
“To stop and then see what you did, and to drive off — it’s just crazy,” said Gala Baham, Mae’s sister-in-law. “How could you do that? These are people, not just something lying in the street.”
After pushing her granddaughter out of harm’s way, the child rolled over the car; that’s when she fractured her leg. The girl’s injuries were described as moderate, but Mae is in a coma after sustaining severe injuries.
The damage to Baham’s brain is currently unknown, Karen explained.
“Mae caught the brunt of [it], and now she’s in the hospital with a coma and brain damage to the right side of her brain, and we still haven’t found the person who hit her. We’re hoping she’ll wake up, but we’re not sure how bad the damage is to her brain and to what extent her memory may have been affected.”
As Mae lies in a coma, a hero, officers are tracking down the errant driver. Inglewood police are looking for the dark green or black Nissan Altima, which likely has significant front-end damage and maybe even a shattered windshield, ABC7 added.
“We really need to find that driver,” Gala pleaded. “And I hope that he [or she] would definitely see this — and come and just turn yourself in.”
Residents in the Inglewood area are urged to call the police’s Anonymous Hotline if they come upon a vehicle with that description (for those in the region, the phone number is (888) 412-7463).
Mae’s family remains hopeful that she’ll recover from her injuries and coma; Gala noted that she is a fighter who won’t give up, adding, “[S]he’s not the type of person you can easily knock down.”
And Emonie’s mother, Wykishia Smith, is in indignant disbelief that a driver could strike not just a young child, but her grandmother, too — and then take off.
“It’s one thing if you hit an adult, but you (struck) a child too. Not one person, but two people and did not stop. What kind of heart do you have? That’s not right and it’s not fair.”
[Photos via NBC LA Screengrab]