Elkhart woman left on side of Bristol Avenue after hit and run

An Elkhart woman was hit by a car on Bristol Avenue and the vehicle fled the scene.

Kayla Sims, 20, was walking home from North Side Middle School to the County Club Apartments on Bristol Avenue when she was hit Tuesday night.

The family says Sims is still in the hospital and recovering from surgery. Doctors had to place two pins and a plate in her left hip.

Sims is a daughter, a sister, and an aunt, and her family says they can't believe someone would just leave her severely injured lying on the side of a very busy road.

“The car just sped up and took off after hitting Kayla and didn't stop, didn't pause even for a moment. I'm not for sure where he went. It was awful,” said Tasha Sims, Kayla's sister. 

Tasha says Kayla and their 12-year-old niece, Briana Sims were walking home from North Side Middle School after a basketball game that let out on Tuesday around 6:30 pm. 

Tasha explains, “They waited until the streets were cleared. The car was pretty much at the light still and it speed up when they were in the middle of crossing.”

The niece made it across but Kayla was hit by a Jeep. Police say extensive damage was done to the grill and headlights area, while Kayla was left lying at the curb just outside County Club Apartments.

Paramedics happened to be passing by in response to another call, when they found Kayla barely conscious on the side of the road.  

“They just happened to be driving down the road at the time and saw Kayla laying in the corner of the street by the curb and stopped. With Briana being so frantic, she had no idea what to do. She thought she was in a dream,” says Tasha. 

Sims was taken to Elkhart General Hospital where doctors told her family she had a couple of deep scrapes, a fractured hip bone, and a broken pelvic bone and needed to be transferred to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Tasha adds, “She went into surgery around 1:30 am. She was in there five and half hours. She will probably stay in the hospital for about four days just to keep a good eye on everything. Make sure the pins are not shifting and see if she can still use her leg.” 

Neighbors say that Bristol Avenue entrance of their apartment complex, between North Main Street and Cassopolis Street, is a problem area. They also add that the hit and run saddens them, but they are not surprised.

Both Kayla's family and neighbors say reckless driving is something they see a lot in the area.

“It is a normal thing. There are many wrecks that happen right there. Just trying to pull in here sometimes you will get rear ended from people just not paying attention or speeding down the road.” says Tasha. 

Jeannie Becraft, another Country Club Apartments resident, adds, “It's scary because I know people in the complex who have children that walk to school. They walk across the street, there is no school crossing, and they have to walk up to the light or just walk across the street.”

There are crosswalks about a quarter mile west and east of the Country Club Apartments but there are no side walks that lead to those cross walks.

Elkhart Police say they have identified the suspect in the hit and run incident.

An arrest has not been made and police are collecting more evidence to determine their next move. The investigation is on going and they could not provide any more details.
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