Raw Video:Nurse Mowed Down by Hit and Run Driver

Nurse injured in hit-and-run accident in front of Syracuse hospital, police release security video hoping to catch driver.

Syracuse, NY -- A nurse remains hospitalized from injuries she suffered when she was hit and thrown over the roof of a car last week in front of the Syracuse hospital where she works. The car never stopped.

Rebecca Forsythe, 61, of Liverpool, suffered two fractured vertebra in her neck, two broken bones in her left leg, a knee injury and a cut to her head that received stitches to close when she was struck by the car just before 9:30 p.m. Dec. 2.

“I went over the top of the car,” Forsythe said Tuesday in a phone interview from her Upstate University Hospital bed, where she is in good condition. She remembers hitting the hood, windshield and roof of the compact car that struck her.

Forsythe said she never lost consciousness after she was hit. “It was almost surreal,” she said. Forsythe underwent surgery Monday to repair some of the damage and she said she will have to wear a neck brace for the next three months.

Forsythe is employed as a traveling nurse with Crouse Hospital, a temporary position covered by a 13-week contract, Forsythe said. After Christmas, she usually heads to Florida and works as a nurse there during the winter.

Last Wednesday, Forsythe was heading from the hospital to the garage across the street to get something from her car, she said. It was dark and rainy, she said. Forsythe made it across the southbound lane of Irving Avenue and had passed a sign in the street that warns vehicles to stop for pedestrians when she was hit by a northbound car.

Forsythe remembers the sound of the car just before she was hit. “Instead of hearing the car slow down, I hear the car accelerating,” she said.

Forsythe was surprised that she saw nothing on the news after the crash. She feels the police should have publicized the search for the car that hit her. “Nobody’s done anything to find this person,” Forsythe said.

Shortly after the crash, officers interviewed Forsythe, Syracuse Police Lt. Joe Cecile said Tuesday. Officers did not think Forsythe suffered major injuries when she was struck, it was only after she was taken to the emergency room that police discovered the extent of her injuries, Cecile said. That interview with officers after the crash was the only contact she had with police, Forsythe said.

Forsythe was taken initially to the Crouse Hospital emergency room and then transferred to University Hospital after doctors determined she needed that hospital’s trauma center, she said.

The crash was captured on a security camera at the hospital, said Bob Allen, a Crouse vice president. Because of technical difficulties, police weren’t able to view the tape until Tuesday, Cecile said.

Forsythe was struck by a dark-green, four-door compact car, she said. Witnesses have described the color as both green and red, Cecile said. The car was originally believed to be a Hyundai, Cecile and the accident record say.

But when officers were able to view the security footage Tuesday, the car was discovered to resemble a General Motors product, either a Caprice Classic or a Buick Regal, Cecile said. The car, which is dark green or blue, is missing a rear right hub cap and has possible front end or windshield damage, Cecile said.

The investigation is continuing into the crash and an officer was expected to meet with Forsythe later on Tuesday, Cecile said. By Robert A. Baker / The Post-Standard
December 08, 2009, 7:04PM