Injured teen cited for jaywalking recovering, thankful


Takara Davis dresses like a typical teenager.

On Thursday, the 13-year-old wore a gray "Flashdance" sweat shirt, jeans and a purple bandana that pulled her curly hair away from her face.

The bandana wasn't a fashion accessory. It shielded the bald spot where she recently received dozens of stitches after being hit by a car Jan. 4.

That afternoon, Takara was rushed to University Medical Center, where she was met by her mother, Kellie Obong. A Las Vegas police officer also was there and promptly handed Obong a jaywalking ticket for Takara.

Obong said she couldn't believe how callous the officer acted, giving her a nearly $100 citation as her daughter faced serious injuries.

Doctors had to induce a coma in her daughter because any brain activity or movement could have caused brain swelling and damage.

The ticketing drew national attention.

On Thursday, Takara, now out of the hospital and in recovery, said she is thankful for the support she has received from around the world. While she was hospitalized, her e-mail inbox filled with messages from all over the United States and from countries as far away as England, India and Australia.

"It makes me feel good; that's why I appreciate it so much," she said from the office of attorney Christian Morris, who represents her.

Morris said Thursday the jaywalking citation was dismissed in justice court Monday. A civil lawsuit will be filed shortly against the 21-year-old driver of the Toyota Camry involved in the collision and the car's owner, Morris said.

Morris said the driver and car owner were negligent in the collision. She said police should have ticketed the driver for "failure to use due care."

Morris wouldn't name the driver and owner of the car before the lawsuit is filed.

Morris said there were no brake marks near the collision scene. She believes the driver might have been speeding because of the substantial damage to the Camry, which included a shattered windshield.

"If you see the extensive damage to the vehicle, it's not feasible that she was going at a slow rate of speed," Morris said.

Morris hasn't determined how much to seek in damages, but said the amount would help cover hospital bills and future rehabilitation costs for Takara.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Durango Drive and Rochelle Avenue shortly after Takara left Lawrence Junior High School.

Police said the car was traveling at the 45 mph speed limit.

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Bill Cassell said Thursday investigators would have cited the driver if they felt she was responsible.

Earlier this month, Cassell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal police are trained to cite lawbreakers, and the job sometimes can be unpleasant.

"Our officers a lot of times are tasked with doing things that are not easy or fun," he said. "We do it with the absolute highest level of compassion and professionalism we can muster."

Morris wouldn't comment about whether she would pursue legal action against the Police Department.

Obong said her daughter still has difficulty hearing at times. She is also sensitive to light and often wears sunglasses.

Takara is in rehabilitation for her frontal lobe injuries, the extent of which are still being assessed by doctors, Obong said.

Some of the functions of the frontal lobe include controlling motor skills, personality and problem solving.

Obong said her daughter's personality is now sometimes erratic, and the once outgoing girl is now a homebody who is afraid to get into cars.

"I just want what's best for my daughter," Obong said. "I want her to be the same Takara that I sent to school that day."

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

 

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