Good Samaritan helps deaf hit and run victim

7:01 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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MARIETTA, Ga. -- Tuesday morning, Joanna Landrum did what many people would do when seeing someone in trouble: she stopped to help.

But she had no idea how much she would have to offer. 

Landrum was driving on South Marietta Parkway at around 7 a.m. Tuesday when she noticed a woman walking across the street in her rear view mirror.

It wasn't long before the first car hit that woman.

Marietta police spokesman David Baldwin said the woman was walking in the center turn lane near Lake Drive when she was clipped by a dark-colored passenger car.

The pedestrian tried to get out of the street, but was hit by a van before she could make it out of the way.

Baldwin said the passenger car drove away on South Marietta Parkway, but the van stayed on the scene, and its driver spoke to emergency responders.

Upon seeing the accident, Landrum says she immediately pulled over and called 911.

"There were already three people standing around her, and as I was walking up, they were saying 'she's deaf, she can't hear,'" Landrum said.

In 10th grade, Landrum chose American Sign Language as a high school elective. Twelve years later, she was able to recall enough of her skill to act as the victim's translator. 

Baldwin said paramedics requested to keep Landrum on the scene because she was the only one who could communicate with the victim.

Landrum says she spent the entire day thinking about her unlikely encounter. She wrote Psalms 9:9 on her hand: 

"He is shelter. A refuge in times of trouble," she read. "That's what I've held on to all day. I'm so thankful that she's safe and OK now."

The pedestrian was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with serious injuries. Her name was not released. Baldwin said she is in stable condition and her injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Baldwin said the van driver will not face charges, but police are looking for the passenger car.


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