The family of a hit and run victim who was in a wheelchair when he was run down in Wilkes-Barre is speaking out today to Newswatch 16.
At the same time the suspect told police she thought she hit a shopping cart last week.
Police say Danielle Castrignano of Kingston was driving the car that hit Corey Ryan last Friday while he was crossing South River Street in Wilkes-Barre in his wheelchair.
Ryan’s family says he was just starting to walk again after a 2010 crash left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Debbie Ryan and her family haven’t left Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital since early Friday morning.
Debbie’s son, 20-year-old Corey Ryan of Wilkes-Barre, was already paralyzed from the waist down after a 2010 car crash in Carbondale when he was hurt again Friday.
Police say he was crossing South River Street in Wilkes-Barre just after 2 a.m. when a car driven by Danielle Castrignano of Kingston slammed into his wheelchair and kept going.
The one time model off the week for the Weekender tabloid was charged in connected to the crash, after she turned herself in the next day.
Ryan’s mother Debbie said her son has been a fighter since his injuries in 2010 .
“I just also know how strong my Corey is, how amazing he is. We came so far and I believe with the grace of God and with him being so strong now he will do it again,” said Ryan.
Debbie says Corey had improved so much, he just moved in with his girlfriend Becca into a Wilkes-Barre apartment shortly before Friday’s crash.
“He`s really just the strongest person I`ve ever met. He`s been through more than anyone I know and he`s still fighting and he`ll keep fighting,” said Becca Wahlers, Corey’s girlfriend.
After Friday’s crash, police found Castrignano’s car with front end damage parked behind a Wilkes-Barre area night club.
This isn`t the first time Castrignano had a run in with the law. Larksville police last New Year`s Eve arrested her for underage drinking and according to court papers she became so combative and so violent she kicked the police car and kicked a police officer. Police had to use a stun gun to subdue her.
“I am grateful she turned herself in. I can`t imagine what it would be like to live with that knowing you hurt someone and to come forward I`m glad she did,” added Ryan.
Corey Ryan remains in critical condition at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital.