SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The driver of a car that allegedly hit a Salem woman while she was checking her mail — and who was then stopped by a USPS driver — was arrested for DUII.
Sandra Hill suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by a car while she checked her mailbox in the 2400 block of Fisher Road NE Thursday morning. Police arrested Vanessa Marie Gienapp, 44, after she allegedly failed field sobriety tests.
Witness Joshua Lainus was walking his dog when he saw the car hit the woman across the street. He said the car had crossed the center line.
“[It] hit her full on, into her mailbox and she smacked her head on the ground,” Lainus said.
He said the car continued for distance and then pulled over.
“That’s when the [mail truck] further down the road chased after it and pulled it over, blocked it in,” Lainus said.
That was Kim Smith with USPS, who has been driving this route for 5 years.
“I just parked in front of her to make sure she didn’t go anywhere,” Smith said. “The adrenaline took over, I don’t even know why I did. I just did it.”
Smith said she was doing the right thing for her customer. She kept the driver on the scene until police arrived.
“It’s all about kindness and you know, doing what’s right,” Smith said.
Lainus called 911 and went to help the injured woman. The 72-year-old woman was rushed to the hospital.
“I couldn’t believe what I was actually witnessing, it was kind of surreal,” Lainus said.
The injured woman’s husband, James Hill, said he’s been checking in on her all day.
“I was in another room and I heard the noise and looked out and she was sprawled out on the driveway,” Hill said. “Thank goodness for the mail lady. She saw what happened and she blocked the street and the person didn’t get away from it.”
The investigation is ongoing and authorities said more charges are possible against Gienapp.