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Driver Accused In Mt. Lebanon Hit & Run Headed To Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A driver accused of hitting and seriously injuring a woman who was out for a walk in Mount Lebanon last month is going to trial.

Loretta LeGrande took daily walks while recovering from surgery last month.

But on Oct. 23, while walking along McNeely Road, LeGrande was hit from behind and knocked into a yard several feet away. The driver never stopped.

Days later, Madeline Panarello turned herself into Mount Lebanon Police.

The two women were in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

"It was just a scary fact to know that she is still driving and able to hurt somebody," said LeGrande. "It's been very hard, a very emotional up and down for me."

LeGrande testified she was walking in a bike lane when a light-colored vehicle hit her. She flew nearly 10-feet into the air and only saw taillights as the car drove away.

A passerby called 911 and she is still recovering from her injuries.

Panarello turned up at the police station a few days later saying she thought she hit a pole and didn't realize it was LeGrande until her estranged husband heard it on the news.

"The emotional ups and downs is more than anything. Imagine the fact that somebody could hit you and leave you by the side of the road, and then return back at the hearing incoherent, it's just very hurtful," said LeGrande.

Panarello didn't testify at the hearing, but at one point did mouth the words "I'm sorry" to LeGrande.

"I do have forgiveness in my heart, but when I kept looking at those keys on the table, sorry just wasn't enough," said LeGrande."

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