USC alum recovering from September hit & run as Columbia police chase leads

nophillips@thestate.comJuly 31, 2013 

  • Know something?

    If you have information about the Sept. 16 hit-and-run case, call S.C. Crimestoppers at 1-888-274-6373. The Bires family is offering a $15,000 reward for a tip that leads to an arrest and a conviction.

— Nine months after being run over by a car, a USC alum has no memory of going to college, graduating or landing a job as a nurse at Palmetto Health Richland.

But Lindsay Bires has won little victories since she suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones in the Sept.16 hit and run.

She can walk with the help of a walker. She can read, put on makeup and brush her hair.

“She’s getting better, but there’s no answer to what better will be,” said Susan Bires, the 25-year-old’s mother. “We don’t know what kind of life she will have.

“She’s been robbed of her whole life.”

Lindsay Bires traveled this week with her parents to Columbia from Massachusetts to meet with Columbia police to get an update on the investigation into who hit her. No arrests have been made, but police continue investigating, said Jennifer Timmons, a department spokeswoman.

The Bires family has been frustrated because no arrests have been made. They have written letters to the governor’s office and SLED asking for help, said Susan Bires, who spoke with media Wednesday on behalf of her daughter, whose speech is slurred because of her injuries.

“It is very hard when you’re calling randomly and trying to figure out what is going on down here,” she said. “I feel they’re working extremely hard to solve this. They’re taking it seriously even though she’s still alive and a lot of other people are not.”

Lindsay Bires was hit while outside the hospital in the wee hours of the morning to take a break from her overnight shift. A small, white car came barreling erratically down Medical Park Drive on the northwest side of the hospital’s main campus, and police believe it drove onto the sidewalk.

Other hospital employees on break were able to jump out of the car’s way, but Bires was hit. The other employees rushed to help her.

At the time, police also had been looking for a white car in connection with a killing on North Main Street that happened the same night. They thought the same car may have hit Bires. But an arrest was made in that case and a thorough inspection of that white car did not find any evidence to indicate it was the one that had hit Bires, Timmons said.

Now, the Bires family and police hope to renew interest in the case and generate new leads.

Susan Bires is convinced that the driver must be evil, since that person has failed to turn himself or herself in.

“Destroy another person and go on with your life?” she said. “I don’t know how you live with yourself.”

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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