Witness describes horror of hit and run as they rush to help victim

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-01 10:24:37-04

Two weeks after 53-year-old Dana Papaj was hit on East River Road, Henry Sadowski is back on his deck.  He was standing there, when he saw the driver of a pick-up truck veer off the side of the road, slamming into Papaj.

"I watched this woman.  She cartwheeled in the air," Sadowski said.  "I'm looking at the wires and her body went as high as the wires.  She fell down and just crumpled on the ground."

Sadowski called 911, while his wife ran to the woman's side.

"My wife was talking to her, encouraging her to keep breathing, help is on the way..." Sadowski said.

He said Papaj was bleeding from the mouth.  She was left on the side of the road, as the driver took off.

"How can somebody do that," Sadowski questioned.  "It's horrible.  Not to stop and help and run away... it's cowardice."

State Police are yet to name a suspect or make an arrest in this case.  They say they're focusing critically on the registered owner of the pick up truck-- going through that guy's story, making sure it adds up and then branching out from there.

"Whoever it was, whether it was the person who owns the truck that was driving, or another person driving, it's wrong not to own up to what you've done," Sadowski said.

He wants someone to go to jail.

Days before this crash, Papaj became a grandmother.

"It's very emotional.  It's tough.  It's everyday.  My wife and I talk about this.  We wonder how the woman is doing and I get a tightening in my chest," Sadowski said.

Papaj remains in a coma at Erie County Medical Center.  Doctors say she has extensive brain damage.

"That woman's life is changed forever.  My wife and I, we'll never be the same after seeing something like that," Sadowski said.

Now State Police are asking anyone who has information to come forward.