Mother left bleeding and broken after Mesa hit-and-run, suspects still on the run

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 07:12:55-04

A Valley mother is recovering after she was hit by a car and left for dead.

The nearly deadly hit-and-run happened in Mesa on May 6 near University Drive and Extension Road.

Jennifer Banister was crossing the street, from QT to Walgreens, with a friend when a car came barreling around the corner and smashed into the 41-year-old mother.

"She went flying in the air," said Beth Baca, Banister's sister.

"And the driver got out and apologized. Then the passenger lady jumped out and said, 'Get back in the car. We've got to get out of here. We've got drugs in here, let's go, let's go!'" said Dee Cardwell, Banister's Mom.

Cardwell says that firsthand account was relayed to her by a Mesa police officer who she says was parked nearby.

"The officer decided to go attend to my sister, so he could only get part of the plate number," said Baca.

As the suspects sped away, Banister was sprawled out, broken and bleeding, on the scalding asphalt.

"She was afraid to close her eyes. Not knowing if she closed her eyes if she would ever open them again," said Baca.

"Her femur was broken. Her pelvis was broken in three places. She's going to be on a walker and in a wheelchair for quite a while," said Cardwell.

Since that Wednesday in early May, Mesa detectives have had very few leads. Detectives believe it may have been a silver or brown Impala with front-end damage.

The family is now hoping someone can help them identify the suspects or their car.

"I don't know how somebody could leave a human being, especially after you looked at her and saw she was struggling, and you just leave them," said Cardwell.

For the past month, Banister anguished alone in a hospital room due to COVID. Thursday she was released.

"And all night long [Wednesday] I kept thinking, I get to see my girl. It's like Christmas - waiting for Santa to come the next day," said Cardwell.

"For the first time in a month, she was able to hug her daughter and just hold her. She held on a couple extra seconds, I will tell you that," said Baca.

"I will treasure that for the rest of my life," said Cardwell.

As Banister learns how to walk again, the family is hoping the people responsible are walked into a jail cell.

"He needs to man up, he needs to do the right thing," said Cardwell.

If you know anything about this crime or witnessed the hit-and-run, you can call Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211.