An Upstate New York woman was severely injured when she was hit by a pickup truck and its snowplow as she walked from her home to a nearby gym, authorities and her family said.
Shaun Waite, 49, was injured in Greenwich two weeks after two boys became trapped beneath a pile of snow in the same town. Police said that incident, which left one of the boys dead, occurred when Department of Public Works crews were out plowing snow.
Waite, 49, had left about 6:10 a.m. Tuesday to work out at the local YMCA, crossing Vanness Avenue to walk on the shoulder of the road opposite her home, her brother-in-law Charles Waite told InsideEdition.com.
“There are no sidewalks on that street, so she was walking along the road,” he said.
He noted his sister-in-law said that as she walked down the road to go work out, she saw a truck traveling down the road in her direction, but she was not in its way.
“She stopped off the side of the road to look at her cellphone, playing with the music … and when she looked up, the truck was coming at her,” he said.
Shaune Waite was rushed to Glens Falls Hospital from the scene and was later medevac'd to Albany Medical Center when the severity of her condition was realized.
She suffered two broken legs, a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, a punctured lung, a torn intestine and a likely broken nose. She also lost part of her colon during the reattachment of her intestine, her brother-in-law said.
“She was in surgery all day Tuesday and yesterday. She was in surgery for six or seven hours,” he said on Thursday. “She’s still in the ICU, but on the bright side, she’s doing good. It’s amazing, the positive attitude that she has for somebody who just went through what she did.”
Charles Waite disputed earlier news reports that his sister-in-law had been crossing the road when she was hit.
“She wasn’t just aimlessly walking across the road,” he said. “She was walking on the dirt on the side of the road. If you read those articles, it makes it sound like she was looking down at her cell phone and walked out, inattentive and got hit. My sister-in-law heard it being talked about in the hospital and that is just so wrong. It’s kind of hurt her feelings that they’re thinking she’s an idiot who walked out in the middle of the road. It’s upsetting for someone in that much trauma.”
Shaun Waite’s 20-year-old daughter who was home on college break could hear her mother’s screams and ran out outside, finding her mother on the ground about 40 feet from where she was hit, Charles Waite said.
“When my niece Elizabeth went outside, the driver was frantically repeating ‘I didn’t see her, I didn’t see her, I’m sorry, I didn’t see her,'” he said. “First responders were there very quickly, and I think they took a statement from him … he said ‘I didn’t see her crossing the street’—he didn’t see her is what he was trying to say. Now everyone assumes that’s what happened.”
The driver, Harold Goman, 36, told police that at no point did he see the woman before his truck struck her, Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell told InsideEdition.com.
"I dont think the guy has any criminal intent in him," Bell said of the driver.
Law enforcement officials have not yet determined Shaun Waite’s exact position on the road when she was struck, Bell said.
Bell has not yet spoken to Shaun Waite, saying he had called the hospital twice to schedule an interview and was hoping to speak with her later Thursday when she was out of surgery.
“I need to talk to Shaun and I haven’t been able to do that,” he said. “He says he didn’t see her. He didn’t go off of the road to hit her; there’s no indication of that. If she saw him coming, [she should] tell me what happened.”
No tickets were issued and Goman has not been charged with any offense. The incident is under investigation.
The incident comes two weeks after 13-year-old Joshua Demarest was killed when he and his best friend, 12-year-old Tyler Day, were trapped in a snow mound in a Greenwich lot for nearly four hours, officials said.
Police began searching for the boys after they failed to come home before dark on December 13, eventually finding a sled near a nearly 70-foot tall mound in an open lot off Rock Street, where the Department of Public Works crews clearing the streets were dumping snow.
Demarest was found at about 7:15 p.m. and was rushed to Saratoga Hospital, but he could not be saved and was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m.
Day was found shortly after his friend was taken out of the snow. He was rushed to the same hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and released Wednesday.