Family speaks out after teen is hit by U-haul

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email


It's been a long and difficulty 24 hours for 14-year-old Dominique Dawson's family. They've been by her side at UK Medical Center since she was rushed there Tuesday afternoon after being hit by a U-haul truck.

"I would rather her be alive, well, and recovering instead of...I don't want to bury my kids," says Eldridge Shanks, Dawson's father.

Shanks is relieved his daughter survived after being hit but recognizes it'll be a long road to her recovery. Dawson was crossing Richmond Road with her sister when it happened.

"It's tough for a kid to start the summer. This is how your summer starts off with a dunk driver would mull you down in a U-haul truck and keep going with no conscious," says Shanks.

Police have identified the driver of the U-haul as 34-year-old, Stewart Smith. Smith is from Sarasota, Florida.

Police say Smith was under the influence when he hit Dawson. They also say inside the Uhaul, they found an open bottle of vodka and prescription pills. Police charged Smith and his passenger, Alison Green, 34 with tampering with physical evidence. Police say the two were trying to hide prescription pills they had inside the U-haul.

Shanks says his daughter now has two titanium rods in her legs and could have to stay in the hospital for the next few days. "She has an injury to her liver, her lung, she has an injury to her lower back. She's going to be in a tough recovery and tough rehab."

Shanks says the drunk driving charge is frustrating enough but the fact that the driver took off after his daughter was hit is unforgivable.

Green has already bonded out of jail. Smith could be getting out soon on a $5,000 bond. A Fayette County District Court judge granted the bond reduction under the condition that Smith will wear an ankle monitoring device, submit to random drug testing, and stay in Lexington with family until a preliminary hearing at the end of the month.

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