Zain Samji, 43, left for work on Thursday, Jan. 19. She hasn’t enjoyed a meal in her own kitchen or tucked her kids into bed since then.
As she was crossing 52 Street at 61 Avenue SE at about 7:30 a.m, Samji was run over by a pickup truck pulling a trailer. Her legs were crushed.
“I’ve always been taught to make eye contact,” said Samji from an interview at a southwest care home, where she is currently a patient.
“So I made eye contact (with the driver) and then my light change and I started walking” Samji recalls.
The driver she said she made eye contact with didn’t stop.
“Clipped me — I’m assuming with the side mirror — and then I fell backwards. I was in excruciating pain as he ran over my legs.
“I remember every second of it, people screaming,’Oh my God he just hit her,’ and people getting on the phone with 911.”
Police released video of a vehicle of interest on Feb. 2. It has generated some tips, but so far no arrests.
Samji has undergone 10 surgeries so far, including multiple skin grafts, and the placement of metal pins to repair her badly broken legs.
Her family can’t understand why anyone would leave her so badly injured on a cold, icy road.
“Why would someone do that to my child? What did you ever do to them?” Samji’s mother Nadia wonders.
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But Samji says she’s already forgiven the person who nearly took her life.
“I don’t want to judge him, his actions. Who am I to do that?” Samji said from her wheelchair.
“Even now if he would come and say he was sorry, I would totally forgive him,” she continued.
While police continue to search for the driver, Samji says she is focused on getting home to tuck her children into bed.
When she can navigate stairs, she’ll be ready to continue her recovery there.
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She will spend several more months in the care facility undergoing rigorous daily physical therapy.
She says despite the horrific ordeal, her faith in humanity remains strong, recalling how strangers rushed to her side in the moments after the crash.
“One man got out of his, I think it was a van and got other people to stop traffic so I wouldn’t get run over further. He also went to his van and got a carpet to put under my head, and said, ‘just lay your head here,’” said Samji.
“He literally sat there with me, just taking care of me just holding my head. I really cannot thank him enough.”
Police continue to search for the driver and want to speak with anyone with information about this case.
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