Crime

‘I have no choice but to focus on healing’: Natick hit-and-run victims address impact as teen driver’s case concludes

One of the victims, Kimberly Gunner, is still recovering from her injuries and surgeries, including a jaw reconstruction.

Summer Street and Washington Avenue, Natick

The criminal case surrounding an August hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a Natick couple, and resulted in charges against a 17-year-old male for allegedly driving while high, has concluded.

Because the accused is a juvenile, authorities with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office couldn’t comment on the outcome, only to say that it has finished. The teen, publicly unidentified, had been charged with two counts of operating under the influence of drugs causing serious bodily injury, and one count each of leaving the scene of personal injury, leaving the scene of property damage, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, and failure to stop. 

The accused was said at the time to be under the influence of marijuana during the Aug. 18 crash. The Chevy Silverado he was reportedly operating barreled over a curb and struck two pedestrians, identified as couple Kimberly Gunner, 51, and Andrew Colbert, 39, both Natick residents, on a sidewalk along Washington Avenue. Gunner and Colbert were rushed to trauma centers at the time.

Colbert was treated and released, while Gunner remained in the hospital for a lengthy period of time, with medical professionals unsure if they would be able to save one of her legs, according to a GoFundMe that as of Wednesday afternoon has raised $154,915 of a $200,000 goal for the couple.

Tuesday’s court proceedings included victim impact statements from both Gunner and Colbert, which were shared with Boston25.

“The fact is, no penalty or incarceration will last nearly as long nor will be as mentally damaging as the emotional and physical effects this crime has had on me and my family,” Gunner wrote, according to the news station. “I have no choice but to focus on healing and moving forward. And I maintain hope for humanity.”

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“We cannot and do not want to spend the inordinate amount of time and negative energy on reliving this nightmare over and over and over in a long, drawn-out criminal process,” Colbert said, the news station reported.

Tony Catlin, Gunner’s cousin, said she has since had her jaw reconstructed after it was fractured in the crash. Gunner also could still lose her leg.

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