NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - A Volusia County woman is in the hospital Monday after being hit by a driver who investigators said claimed he would call for help but took off.
Police said Shariema Smith was riding a bicycle along State Road 44 where it merges with Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach when she was struck by a truck.
The woman was in bad shape but was able to talk to Eyewitness News and said she is happy to be alive.
But this was awful for her as she sat alone just off the roadway here where she was and had to call for help all on her own.
Doctors told Smith she might have to wear a halo for four to five months. There are broken bones in her neck, she has a fractured pelvis, and her left knee is shattered.
She said she was riding her bike to work when she was hit.
"I felt like I squeezed myself real tight to like, brace myself from the impact, like shield myself. All I remember saying is, "Lord I'm not going to die today.'" Smith said.
New Smyrna Beach police said Smith flew 30 feet from where the driver of a truck hit her on Canal Street Friday morning.
At first he stopped.
"The man, he got out of his vehicle, he said, 'I'm so sorry. Are you okay?' I said, 'I'm okay, I'm all right, can you please call for help? Can you please call for help?' And he said, 'Okay,'" Smith said.
Smith said he did not call for help and she even had to crawl out of his way to avoid getting hit again. She said she thinks the man was wearing a fisherman's hat and may have been in his 40s or 50s.
She said the truck was a midsized, light blue pickup truck with no custom work.
She said she could only think of her 11-year-old child.
"That's what gave me the strength to hold on and move myself no matter what pain I was feeling, that's all I could think about was my daughter," Smith said.
Smith called 911 on her own
cellphone after the driver pulled into a driveway and then took off.
"I'm just trying to live and take care of my child, so I would ask for anybody that knows anything to come forward," Smith said.