State

I-26 hit-and-run victims coming home from hospital

Less than two weeks after they were involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed 14-year-old Grace Sulak, Andrea and Emma Dewey are returning to Bluffton on Wednesday.

“This is beyond our wildest dreams,” Emma’s father, Chris Dewey, said Tuesday about his daughter and ex-wife’s rapid recovery.

Andrea and Emma were injured May 7 as they drove home on eastbound I-26 in Calhoun County from a track meet in Columbia. Sulak, Emma’s friend and fellow teammate, rode in the backseat.

The Nissan Rogue Andrea Dewey drove was struck by what S.C. Highway Patrol investigators believe to be a white Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck with possible damage on the right front fender.

The driver of that vehicle fled the scene and remains at large, Sgt. Bob Beres said Tuesday.

Emma and Andrea Dewey suffered injuries that doctors originally estimated would require a longer stay at the Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center, Chris said.

Instead, they will return with the help of medical transportation, he said.

“We have been very fortunate,” Chris said.

Emma will return with a custom back brace as she continues to heal. She will wear the brace for at least a month, Chris said.

Andrea’s parents and neighbors have already volunteered to help with meals and home care for both Andrea and Emma, Chris said.

“Everyone in the Woodbridge neighborhood has just been wonderful,” Chris said.

He said Sulak’s twin sister, Faith, also plans to visit Emma when she gets home.

He added that though Emma and Andrea’s physical recoveries have gone well, challenges still lie ahead.

“The emotional voyage will be much harder,” Chris said.

Caitlin Turner: 843-706-8184, @Cait_E_Turner

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