VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - "Everyday it's not over for us," said Robin Richardson. "Even though this happened four months ago, it's not over because we live it every day."
Richardson's whole world was rocked by a driver charged with DUI this past January.
On Jan. 19, 2012, Virginia Beach Police say 43-year-old Sandra Hofstadler drove around a stopped school bus, veered into a front yard on Chester Street and plowed into a man and three children as they were walking to the bus. One of the children police say Hofstadler hit is Richardson's 7-year-old daughter, Neyahni. The man is her brother-in-law and the two other children are her niece and nephew.
Hofstadler was also charged with maiming and reckless driving that morning. She remains in jail, while the people hurt in the accident still recover.
"I've been every day teaching myself more and more things that I haven't been doing with others," Neyahni said about her recovery process.
The second-grader broke her femur and cracked her eye socket in the accident. She's also had to overcome the emotional impact of being hit by a car in her family's front yard.
"We can be crossing the street and if she sees a car coming she'll tug my hand a little and squeeze it a little," said Richardson.
Neyahni was out of school for four months as she learned to get around in a wheelchair and then a walker. She had surgery to get two metal rods placed in her leg to heal her femur. As well-wishes from her classmates hung on her bedroom wall, Neyahni's home became her classroom. She missed the second half of second grade while a home-bound teacher visited her at home during the week.
"I'm trying to get back like other children, too, so I can fit in," said Neyahni.
Neyahni went back to school for the first time last Tuesday, just to see how the day would go.
"Her spirits are up,' said Richardson. "She's very positive. That keeps me going. That gives me the energy I need."
Then there's the images Neyahni will never be able to erase from her mind. She clearly remembers the accident and seeing her family everywhere in the yard.
"Then we started going outside for the bus and then we thought we were gonna be late," said Neyahni. "So we stopped because all these cars were coming. And then we saw another one and it came up the driveway and hit us."
Neyahni said she remembers seeing her mom crying when she got to the hospital.
"She was crying and she was asking me that was I OK and things like that," Neyahni recalled. "And I told her I'd be alright, because she used to tell me that when I have bad dreams that it's gonna be alright."
Richardson said she doesn't understand how or why the accident happened.
"I just think she's definitely a sick person; a sick lady. And she needs help," said Richardson.
Virginia Beach Police said it was Hofstadler's second DUI.
Fortunately, everyone involved in the accident survived. Richardson said Neyahni spent a week in the hospital. Neyahni's five year old cousin, David, was in the hospital for two months. Her uncle and her other cousin were released soon after the accident.
Neyahni still has a long journey until she is fully healed. She still walks with a limp and her leg will cramp up if she lets it hang for too long. She recently started physical therapy and still has a few fears about going back to school.
"Now I'm just not used to walking in a line like I was," said Neyahni. "And sometimes when I walk a long time my leg gets tired."
Now that Neyahni is going back to school, she is taking a life lesson with her: sometimes you need to forgive the people who hurt you.
When WAVY.com asked Neyahni if she was mad about the accident, Richardson asked her daughter, "What does God teach us to do?"
"To forgive," answered Neyahni. "So I'm going to forgive her."
Sandra Hofstadler will be in Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Monday, May 21 for her preliminary hearing.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
A fire sparked in the laundry room of an apartment in Chesapeake late Thursday night.
Suffolk police are looking for a man and a woman they say robbed a Kangaroo Express gas station on Wilroy Road Sunday afternoon.