CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Melanie Azterbaum of Thermal is recovering at Desert Regional Medical Center after surviving a hit-an-run crash near Candy Cane Lane Thursday. Azterbaum's mother, Sandra Gutierrez, said her daughter is lucky to be alive."She had a brain bleed and a spleen bleed, and they are watching that. She has a broken leg and a broken pelvis and part of her lumbar is broken, the L1, that’s doing OK; they are watching it. But she is going to have to ave surgery on her pelvis and her leg with plates and screws and stuff," Gutierrez said.
Azterbaum and her partner were with a few other family members to look at the beautiful lights on Candy Cane Lane. A driver stopped on Avenida La Vista so Azterbaum could cross the street, but another driver in a newer yellow American-made sports car with a black racing stripe drove around the stopped car.
The family waits at Azterbaum’s hospital bedside hoping someone will come forward with information on the driver.
"It was just scary to think about losing a child especially around Christmas time, it is very frightening. We are all just so upset at whoever hit her," Gutierrez said.Doctors said Azterbaum should be able to recover from her injuries. The Cathedral City Police Department said it is still actively looking for the driver and the car.
Witnesses say it could be a newer Chevy Camaro, a Corvette or a Dodge Challenger that should have front-end damage from the crash.