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Minnesota toddler recovering after hit-and-run in Owatonna

Owatonna toddler hurt in hit-and-run
Owatonna toddler hurt in hit-and-run 02:07

OWATONNA, Minn. — A Minnesota toddler is on the mend after being hit by a driver who left the scene.

A truck hit 22-month-old Anastasia Westphall while crossing the road with her family last week.

“SHE’S MY BABY” - A two-year-old miraculously survived a hit-and-run in Owatonna, and the person accused of hitting her...

Posted by WCCO & CBS News Minnesota on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

With tears streaming down her face Aileen Westphall remembers how a typical walk across the intersection of Rose Street and Oak Avenue in Owatonna quickly turned into a nightmare.

"I just saw my friend holding my daughter yelling at the guy to stop, stop and he wasn't," Westphall said.

The driver hit her friend Carly Simmons and her daughter Anastasia Westphall and kept driving.

"When I picked her up, she was limp she wasn't doing anything she was pale," Westphall recalls.

Anastasia was airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She spent days at Mayo Clinic healing from severe injuries including internal bleeding and fractures to her pelvic area.

A 36-year-old man is charged with a felony and two misdemeanors in connection to this hit and run. He is due back in court in July.

According to charging documents, investigators were able to identify the driver's car using camera footage from local businesses before arriving at a gas station and purchasing a deluxe car wash roughly 10 minutes after the incident.

The driver to was arrested the next day and told police he didn't know he hit a person, but thought trash was being thrown at his vehicle. We reached out to the man's attorney for a comment, he declined an interview.

Westphall disagrees to his claim and says he saw her family crossing the street.

For now, it's all about Anastasia comfortable in her brace while pushing for safer streets.

"I hope that the town takes it seriously and makes it safer for people to cross and walk," Westphall said. She would also like to see the intersection become a 4-way stop with lights to ensure no one else gets hurt.

 A fundraiser has been set up to help alleviate some of the financial burden during this time.

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