Local News

Hit-and-Run Victim Released From Hospital

Posted December 29, 2007 7:49 p.m. EST
Updated December 30, 2007 8:00 a.m. EST

— A Johnston County teenager who was the victim of a hit-and-run was released from the hospital and spoke with WRAL Saturday.

On Oct. 19, Andrew Lee of Kenly was riding his bike along Highway 301 near the Johnston-Wilson County line when a car struck him. Investigators said the driver of the vehicle did not stop to help Lee or report the accident.

The driver, Allison Thomas, was arrested in November after authorities received an anonymous tip. Officials said she knew the victim’s mother.

Andrew spent five weeks in critical condition after the hit-and-run. He has brain damage, a metal plate in his hip and metal bars in both legs. Yet, Andrew can't stop smiling.

“You gotta be tough to be able to do this and still survive,” he said.

His grandmother, Lois Lee, called his recovery “a miracle.”

“I told his doctors [and] they agreed with me, ‘cause I kept telling them, I said, ‘God put His hand on him or he wouldn’t even be here now,’” she said.

Andrew will return to the hospital Sunday, but he should be released for good on Friday. He still has more rehab and recovery ahead of him. Andrew said he is just happy to be alive.

“My knee hurts everyday, but that’s it basically,” he said.

Andrew's family tries to avoid talking to him about what happened.

“I think [Allison Thomas] should be punished. But, you know, I don’t want [Andrew] to feel hate in his heart, because that could make him worse,” Lois Lee said.

Instead, she wants her grandson to focus on the future. He has a lot of rehab ahead of him. His family doesn't know if he will ever be able to use his left leg again. What they do know is that Andrew will just keep on smiling.