SEBRING — A relatively new student in Highlands County, Jasmin Dorsett doesn’t have a lot of close friends at Avon Park High School.
And for the most part Jasmin, 15, doesn’t leave home very often.
So on Wednesday evening when Jasmin’s brother decided to walk from their home near Valerie Boulevard, north of Sebring, to a convenience store on U.S. 27, her mother suggested that might be an opportunity for her to get out of the house.
But as they were walking home, a black truck struck Jasmin, knocking her into an area off Valerie Boulevard.
Those events were described by Eduarda Santos, the mother of Jasmin, who said her daughter was fighting to recover from her injuries at Tampa General Hospital.
Besides being concerned about her daughter’s recovery, Santos said, she’s angry that whoever struck her daughter with his vehicle left the scene without stopping.
“He’s got to be an animal or a monster to have left my daughter like that,” she said.
As of Friday, the Florida Highway Patrol had not made any arrests in connection with the hit-and-run accident.
Santos said she believes the driver lived somewhere in the neighborhood, based on its direction of travel. She said she believes there’s evidence that the truck had a broken headlight after the accident.
Jasmin has improved, but will need a lot of time for recovery, Santos said. She said her daughter has a lot of broken bones from the waist down and has very limited mobility.
“Her back is messed up,” Santos added.
Santos hasn’t been able to talk to her daughter very much because the drugs she’s received have kept her asleep most of the time, she said.
When the daughter arrived at the hospital, doctors had to deal with internal bleeding and loss of blood, Santos said. “Her blood level was down.”
Santos said her daughter and son were about three blocks from their home, near Valerie Boulevard and Bream Avenue, when Jasmin was struck and knocked unconscious.
She first learned of the accident when her son called and was “screaming that a truck hit her,” she said.
He told her that the truck had knocked her into the grass off the road and that she was unconscious, Santos recalled.
The family had moved from Pennsylvania to the area earlier this year, she said. Her daughter never got into trouble and is a “decent girl,” Santos said.
“Thank God, she is alive,” the mother added. “She doesn’t deserve this.”