Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a Twin Cities man, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run, is asking for the public’s help.
Wade Souster was found lying on the median of Phalen Boulevard, near Atlantic St. in St. Paul, early Thursday morning.
St. Paul Police have little information on who hit him.
Souster’s family hasn’t left his side since they got that early morning call that he was in the hospital.
Over the last four days, they’ve been waiting for some sign that he’s on the road to recovery, but they’re also wondering who could hit someone and not stop to help.
“I want to believe he knows we’re there,” said Angie Hammerlindl, Wade’s cousin.
It’s never easy when a loved one is in the hospital.
“It’s really, really, hard and it doesn’t get any easier,” Hammerlindl said.
A reality made more difficult for Souster’s mother and cousin when they think of how he ended up in the surgical intensive care unit at Region’s Hospital.
“It was about 7 in the morning, when I found out, got a knock on the door,” said Sandy Romero, Wade’s mother.
“Wade was walking home just a few blocks from home, crossing the street, and now he’s in the hospital bed fighting for his life,” Hammerlindl said.
Wade’s brain injury, multiple fractures and bruised lungs are the result of a driver who hit and left him lying in the median.
“We have no idea how long he’d been left on the side of the road and that’s what hurts us, he was left,” Hammerlindl said.
Doctors at Regions Hospital have spent days trying to heal him with no certainty of an outcome.
“I can’t tell these young ladies what to expect at the other end of it,” said Dr. David Dries, of Regions Hospital.
Helpless in Souster’s recovery, the family is focused on who caused his pain.
Police have little else to go on but a dark colored car with possible front end damage.
“Someone out there knows something, saw something. Somebody noticed a neighbor’s car and there was a dent that wasn’t there the other day,” Hammerlindl said.
It’s information that won’t help Souster physically, but the family feels it’s vital to help him heal.
“When Wade wakes up, he should have an answer,” Hammerlindl said.
The family says Souster doesn’t have great health insurance and many people have offered financial help to the family.
However, the government shutdown is making that difficult.
To set up a fund in someone’s name it has to be done according to the law, to make sure the money is donated and distributed properly. Benefit funds require what’s called an EIN number, which is distributed by the federal government. The family hasn’t been able to do that as government workers are furloughed.
Souster’s employer, Downtowner Car Wash, is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to a conviction.