Felony charges in GI hit & run crash

Teenage girl in critical condition with broken spine suffered in accident
Luis Ruiz is charged with a felony in connection with a hit & run accident Sept 5 in Grand Island.
Luis Ruiz is charged with a felony in connection with a hit & run accident Sept 5 in Grand Island.(Hall County Jail)
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 3:43 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A Grand Island man is facing felony charges while a young girl struggles to recover from injuries in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident last weekend.

Luis Ruiz, 21, Grand Island was formally charged Thursday with felony Failure to Stop and Render Aid and with misdemeanor Reckless Driving. A judge set bond for Ruiz at $75,000 and set a probable cause hearing for Oct. 20.

Meanwhile, 13-year-old Samantha Atkinson, was still listed in critical condition with a severed spine and internal injuries at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

Police said the accident happened around 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of Anderson Avenue and South Locust Street.

According to police, a white 2012 Chrysler 300 was westbound on Anderson Avenue when it drove through a stop sign and struck the passenger side of a north-bound silver 2014 Ford Escape driven by Brandy Atkinson, 47, of Grand Island. Samantha Atkinson was riding on the passenger side. She was trapped in the vehicle for a time and suffered life-threatening injuries. The teen is in critical condition at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. She is paralyzed from the chest down.

Police say Ruiz was driving the Chrysler 300 and fled the scene of the accident on foot. Police arrested Ruiz Wednesday and booked him into the Hall County jail. The max penalty for the felony charge against Ruiz is four years in prison.

Police said the Chrysler vehicle was reported stolen after the accident Saturday morning.

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