The woman injured in last week's car accident involving Mayor-elect Steve Benjamin has shown small signs of improvement.
But an attorney for Deborah Rubens said Wednesday, "She's certainly not out of the woods at all."
Meanwhile, the Columbia Police Department has not released any new information about the wreck.
Rubens has been in a coma at Palmetto Health Richland hospital since April 21. She has a brain injury, but doctors do not know how severe it is or her long-term outlook, said Rick Detwiler, an attorney at Columbia's Callison Tighe & Robinson firm who has been retained by the Rubens family.
"She did squeeze the hand of a friend today," Detwiler said Wednesday. "She has opened her eyes once or twice but not for a sustained amount of time."
Rubens has a broken pelvis and a broken collarbone, Detwiler said. She also has undergone at least two surgeries, but Detwiler did not elaborate on those procedures.
"Right now, we're not sure what's next with her care," he said.
Rubens, a popular waitress at the Clarion Hotel Columbia on Gervais Street, does not have insurance through her job, Detwiler said. And it does not appear she has insurance through any other source.
"She has limited means," Detwiler said.
A trust fund is being set up at Bank of America on Rubens' behalf, but its details have not been finalized.
Detwiler said well-wishes and prayers from the community have meant a lot to the Rubens family. They have told Rubens about the outpouring of support, he said.
Rubens' son, Tai Rubens, has been with his mother at the hospital. He is a chef in a retirement community in California. He has returned to San Francisco briefly to tie up personal business but will return later to Columbia in the week, Detwiler said.
Before his mother was injured, Tai Rubens already had planned to spend a week with her for Mother's Day.
"They're very close," Detwiler said.
It has been a week since Benjamin's Mercedes R350 crossover vehicle collided with Rubens' Toyota Tercel at 5:40 a.m. at the intersection of Gervais and Pickens streets. Earlier reports described the vehicle as an SUV.
Just hours earlier, Benjamin had been elected the city's first black mayor.
Benjamin was on his way to early-morning television interviews; Rubens was on her way to work. Benjamin was not hurt.
Thus far, the Columbia Police Department has not released any reports, transcripts or audios of 911 calls related to the incident.
Attempts Wednesday to reach city officials about the accident were unsuccessful.
Benjamin has asked for an outside agency to lead the investigation. But Columbia Police Chief Tandy Carter has said his department is capable of conducting a thorough review.
Detwiler said he has not called for an outside investigation. He has talked to investigators, who have assured him they will not be biased.
"We're obviously very concerned about this being a fair and impartial investigation," he said. "We sincerely hope that there won't be any outside influence on the officers."
Benjamin has asked for prayers for Rubens but has said little about the accident. On Wednesday, he attended his first City Council meeting as mayor-elect. During the session, Benjamin said he continues to pray for Rubens.
"We remain in constant prayer," Benjamin said. "The will of God doesn't take you anywhere the grace of God won't protect you."
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307. Reporter Adam Beam contributed.