Teen survives violent hit-and-run, seeks to thank Good Samaritans who helped her

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A 19-year-old girl, hit and injured in a serious collision, says another driver clipped her Jeep and took off. It happened April 20 on Interstate 26 westbound just before the St. Andrews Road exit.

Caroline Bell says she's thankful to be alive. She credits first responders and several Good Samaritans who helped get her to the hospital and reunited with her family.

"I work at the mall so I have to go from 20 to 26. I've done it more times than I can count," said Bell.

Just after she merged onto I-26 West, she says a silver car clipped her Jeep and sent her reeling into the retaining wall.

"I felt my Jeep go up on two wheels and I thought, 'Oh, this isn't good,'" said Bell.

Her Jeep was smashed and the silver car was no where to be found.

"When I came to, my car was facing traffic in the emergency lane and there was no driver window and a bunch of people were asking if I needed help," said Bell.

At least three Good Samaritans stopped. They carried Bell from the mangled Jeep to a bystander's van while they waited on EMTs.

"I remember them being like, we're going to take you to the hospital and I was like, I was going to wait on the side of the road for my mom," said Bell.

Mom was at home with her son when she received a voicemail from her shaken daughter.

Bell was taken to the hospital, but her mom had no way to get to her daughter because their only family vehicle had just been totaled. One of the Good Samaritans stepped in again.

"One of them, I think his name was Harry, he was in a blue shirt, he said, 'Don't worry about it, I'll take care of it,' and I remember saying, 'Thank you,'" said Bell.

'Harry' even offered to drive them back home once Caroline was discharged, if they needed a ride.

"There really are good people out there," said Bell.

Caroline has a couple broken toes, sprained shoulder, a concussion, and some scrapes, but she says she's doing well because people cared enough to help.

"To the people who stopped, took time out of their day just because they saw someone in a wreck, thank you so much," said Bell.

She doesn't know the names of everyone who helped her that day, but she knows she was meant to share her story.

"I'm supposed to do something with my life apparently and I'm still supposed to be on this Earth for some greater purpose hopefully," said Bell.

If you saw anything or have any information that can help investigators in this case, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Bell and her family are also hoping to one day get a chance to personally thank those Good Samaritans.

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