Wave Runner Hit and Run

July 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A wave runner hit and run brings new concerns to those who are enjoying July 4. A Hanford woman is still recovering after a water craft accident caused serious injuries. Hundreds of people crowded into the Kings River to float down it. But a scary accident is on their minds. Many are aware that last week, a 24-year-old woman was also enjoying herself when out of nowhere, a wave runner drove over her.

Inner tubes by the dozens- It's a favorite mode of transportation down the Kings River. But at times, people here say jet skiers get a little to close to those on floats and rafts. Jeannie Heinrich from Hanford said, "Sometimes you have people out here that try to show off a little bit to the floaters and that's when you have accidents happen.

Mark Mello was on the river June 28 when 24-year-old Robin Bruce floated on a large inner tube. Investigators said at one point, a wave runner hit Bruce and left the scene. Seconds later, Mello heard the cries for help and responded.

Mello said, "I wanted to make sure she didn't have a concussion. So I was ...trying to help her. I took my shirt off. I was going to rip my sleeve for her but the whole shirt ended up on her head." Mello said he saw the woman's deep head injuries. Family friends report she suffered a cracked skull and a broken rib. Investigators are still trying to track down the person who hit the victim. It's an accident raising concern among those enjoying the holiday.

Jason Burless from Hanford said, "I don't want to see any of my friends get hit. I personally didn't know her, but when something happens like that, you're a little bit worried about your friends and safety.

Mello said he still believes the river is safe, "I've floated this river at least a hundred times. This is my 6th float this year. This is the only time I've seen someone hurt by someone else. Usually, if someone gets hurt out here... it's their own fault."

Fresno County Investigators believe the driver is female and possibly from the Hanford area. A family friend tells us, Robin Bruce is out of the hospital but still recovering from the injuries.


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