By Samantha Joseph
STUART -- The 23-year-old Palm City woman who was injured in a hit-and-run accident on Dec. 9 is an assistant in the private law offices of Stuart Mayor Eula Clarke.
And as police continued last week to seek the driver who struck Chariti Thomas, Mayor Clarke joined in the call for information.
"We're just hurting right now," she said. "Chariti is a very calm, quiet and focused young lady. Her ways are just like her name. She's a very caring and giving person."
Ms. Thomas is recovering at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach after a driver struck her then fled the scene.
The incident took place around 2 a.m. at the intersection of Southeast Federal Highway and Contractor's Way.
Ms. Thomas was walking when the vehicle hit her. Police said the driver is a "heavy-set" black woman.
"The (suspect's) vehicle may possibly be a light blue or silver-colored larger vehicle, possibly a minivan, SUV," Stuart Police spokesman Michael Pope said in a press release.
"The female was observed exiting the vehicle and removing an infant child seat from the front passenger seat and placing it in the back seat. She then got back into the van and drove away, last seen driving north on U.S. 1. The vehicle possibly has damage to the right front bumper and passenger side mirror, (as well as) airbag deployment."
The accident left Ms. Thomas with broken ribs and a broken arm, Mayor Clarke said.
Emergency medical responders flew her to Palm Beach for treatment.
Police issued a second call for assistance on Dec. 13.
Anyone with information should call Detective Heather Rothe on (772) 220-3923 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers on (800) 273-8477.
"It's sad that she's hurt and it's sad that we don't know who did it," Mayor Clarke said. "I'm grateful that she's still alive, and that she will move on to bigger and better things."