Young woman badly injured in hit & run in South Bend Monday

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A local barista known for her positive energy and vibrant personality is now unconscious, heavily sedated, and fighting for her life in a South Bend hospital.

26-year-old Michelle Graham was the victim of a hit and run accident early Monday morning.

She was among several patrons who left Mitch’s Second Base Sports Bar after closing time and congregated in the parking lot for a while.

Surveillance video apparently shows Graham – on foot—approach a black Cadillac.

“Either got into an argument or something with two gentlemen in a truck. The driver had his door open; she was standing next to him, and the driver backed up. The door dragged her backwards and then they turned, which yeah, the driver of the truck turned the vehicle, ran her over and then they sped off,” said Graham’s partner Nick Barlow. “You don’t just run a person over in a truck and then just speed off without even so much as calling to make an anonymous tip or anything like that. Without some, I mean, he’s got to be a heartless human being I guess.”

Police say they have impounded the Cadillac involved in the incident and have interviewed but not arrested the driver.

The Fatal Alcohol Crash Team would like to speak to more witnesses who either saw the incident or the events leading up to it.

Anyone with information is asked to call 574-235-9514.

Graham had recently moved to Mishawaka from Oregon where her mother, father, and sisters still live.

For the last three weeks, she worked as a barista at the Zen Café in South Bend. “I just felt very sad and unfortunate. I just felt very helpless. We didn’t know how to help her or what to do,” said co-worker Kenneth Tate.

The co-workers ended up taking donations through Venmo to help pay Graham’s mounting hospital bills. Information can be found on the Zen Café Facebook page.

Graham had health insurance through a program for Oregon residents and its unclear if it will be honored here.

“It’s touch and go right now,” said Barlow. “I mean she has a lot of serious injuries: Punctured lung, three broken ribs, a slight crack in a vertebra in her neck, and fractured skull.”

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