Teen struck by hit-and-run driver: "It's an unforgivable act" - KPTV - FOX 12

Teen struck by hit-and-run driver: "It's an unforgivable act"

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Gerald Rutledge mugshot Gerald Rutledge mugshot

A teenage girl was hit by a car in SE Portland, while riding her bike over the weekend.  The driver left her for dead in the middle of the road.  

She’s now home from the hospital and with one big message for the man who left her there. 

Nataliya Gaiovych, 14, tells FOX 12 she was out her riding her bike off SE Woodstock near 96th to visit her middle school teachers once last time before entering high school. 

But the teenager never made it there.  When she started to cross the intersection she was hit by a car.

“I thought the driver would stop, because he had a red light and it was my turn to cross,” said Gaiovych.  “It felt like one second passed by and then I felt something hit me. The next moment I was flying somewhere. My bike went underneath his car, and I ended up being pushed aside to the road.”

The driver took off, but the teen says two women who watched it all happen rushed to help her.

“One lady, she held my hand, because I felt like there was no one around me. I asked to hold her hand and she let me,” said Gaiovych. “After I got home I called her to thank her for being there for me.”

Court documents show the driver’s license plate fell off during the crash.  But that driver, Gerald Rutledge, ended up calling 911 himself later that day to tell investigators what happened. Shortly after he was arrested. 

According to court documents, police say he admitted to smoking marijuana the night before and even wrote an apology letter to the teen saying he blacked out during the crash.  But, Gaiovych says, what he did was an unforgivable act.

“If you hit someone, you should stop and see what you did to the person and be there for your own consequences. It’s your fault,” said Gaiovych.

The teen says she’s recovering from an open fracture to her leg, and doctors have told her she’ll likely be out of school for up to a month.

“It’s freshman orientation today, and I really wanted to go since it was my first year of high school,” said Gaiovych.  “I’m really concerned about my school work, I don’t want to fall behind."

FOX 12 did reach out to Rutledge over the phone Thursday, who said he had no comment on the situation.

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