Norfolk police searching for hit-and-run driver who put 85-year-old woman in a coma


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Police in Norfolk are searching for the driver of a vehicle that hit an 85-year-old woman and drove off Friday night. 

Norfolk police say the incident happened around 7 p.m. at the intersection of Wide Street and Henry Street.

The family of Vinnie Lanier says she is currently in a coma because she sustained traumatic brain injuries.

her daughters, Andrea Lanier and Katie Swain said.

Her daughters say she’s active and goes a lot of places.

That night, she was headed to the Attucks Theatre with her friend, Jacquelyn Scott.

Scott was driving and had parked on the street behind the building.

“We had gotten to the intersection when I heard several people in the group say there’s a car! They’re going to get hit! They’re going to get hit!” Scott said.

Scott says she saw the grill of the car and a dark tinted window but doesn’t remember getting hit.

She does remember getting up from the ground. Her shoes had been knocked off and Lanier was further up the road.

“I thought we had a chance when we heard the screaming but when I heard it accelerate, That’s when I thought we weren’t going to make it,” she said.

Scott says the car did not have headlights on.

“I think people who feel comfortable enough to go down the street at that rate of speed, it was going about 35 miles per hours, it’s someone who’s used to traveling this route,” she said.

Lanier’s loved ones are now asking the community, that she loves so much, to love her back by passing along any information they may have.

“She was a concerned citizen and we would like to see that happened again to continue her journey,” her daughters said.

Her family believes finding the driver will bring closure to them.

“Give us some type of piece of mind that the person who did this is identified and made aware of the damage that was created. Hopefully, they would have some type of remorse,” Swain said.

Scott hopes that the hit-and-run wasn’t intentional.

“I would like to think that the person that did this is not truly a bad person for the family’s sake, for Vinnie’s family’s sake, for them to know it wasn’t an act of evilness. It was an act of being human and make a mistake,” Scott said.

Both Scott and Lanier’s daughters believe speed bumps, stop signs, and speed limit signs need to be put up in the area.

Scott is thankful to the people who came to their assistance after the crash.

The vehicle that hit Lanier and fled the scene is believed to be a gray or silver Nissan Altima, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1 (888) LOCK-U-UP. 

Stay on for updates. 

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