POINT PLEASANT – “This kid is seriously the strongest person I know. Thank you have everyone for the love and support and prayers for Emma.”
So said the update on the GoFundMe page for 14-year-old Emma-Mae from her mother Stephanie, who has been at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune since last Thursday after a hit-and-run left her with a fractured skull and brain bleed.
Emma’s mother, who has only been identified publicly as Stephanie, confirms her daughter is still in the Intensive Care Unit.
Stephanie tells Jersey Shore Online, “she has a brain injury that takes a lot of time to heal. She has a long road ahead of her. Thanks to everyone for your support.”
Emma and two friends were riding their bicycles at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday when they attempted to cross Route 88 at Sunset Avenue. They looked all ways, and believing it was clear, the two friends started to cross. However, Emma was hit by what was described as a dark sedan.
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Al Della Fave said “the teen was thrown onto the windshield over the hood, where she was carried on the car for a time before being thrown off.”
“The vehicle’s driver callously continued driving after the impact, carrying the victim on the vehicle hood for a distance before she was thrown free of the vehicle,” Della Fave said.
The one friend pulled Emma from the road and called 911.
The driver, 26-year-old Brittany Keifer of Point Pleasant, was arrested Friday night. She was charged with fourth-degree assault by auto, third-degree leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury, motor vehicle summons for reckless driving, motor vehicle summons for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and motor vehicle summons for failure to report an accident. Point Pleasant Police reported Keifer was released on a complaint summons.
“The skull fracture and the brain bleed will both take some time to heal, however the neurological exams went from one hour to two hours to every four hours. She woke up for a good 20 minutes last night to see her friends. She still just wants to sleep, which they said is normal due to the swelling on the brain,” Stephanie reported through the GoFundMe page. “She’s not too fond of them shining the light in her eyes during the exams and she definitely lets them know how she feels about it… she doesn’t hold back. She’s still got that Emma sass. Hoping that today is the day she will sit up in a chair and maybe even eat something. She still has a long road ahead of her. The one dr said that her being so physically fit and muscular is a factor to what helped save her (Thank you Jersey All Stars).”
At this printing, the fundraiser has far exceeded the original $10,000 with $23,441 from 425 people in three days.