Plymouth Mother of Hit-and-Run Victim Raises Brain Injury Awareness
The Plymouth intersection of Rockford Road and Vicksburg Lane is a relatively nondescript area, as drivers simply try to get from point A to point B.
But for Pamela Mason, it’s a spot that changed her life forever.
“Life will never be the same,” she said.
On Sept. 25, 2021, her 19-year-old son, Austin Smith, was out on a bike ride with a friend.
“They were on their way home and around 8:20 or so that evening, they were making their way through the crosswalk when Austin was hit by a speeding car,” Mason said.
He was hit by a speeding car that just kept going.
So far, nobody has come forward to accept responsibility.
“According to Minnesota crash statistics for 2021, there was over 7,500 hit and run accidents in Minnesota,” Mason said. “And Austin is one of those statistics now. And that is just heartbreaking.”
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that the incident left Austin with a severe traumatic brain injury and the inability to walk, speak or see.
Brain Injury Awareness Month
Last Thursday, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, Mason took time to speak to a group of people at the Fox and Pantry in Plymouth about Austin’s situation.
“It was important to me to honor Austin by increasing awareness around brain injury, because we don’t talk about it enough,” she said.
She says more than 100,000 Minnesotans are impacted by brain injury, so she and other Plymouth city officials, used Thursday’s event as an opportunity to ask people to have empathy for those who have been impacted.
But also, they made a plea for folks to slow down on the roads.
“We’ve heard it all before, right? But I wanted people to really know that life can change in an instant,” Mason said.
Investigators are looking for a black Acura TSX made between 2011 and 2014. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Plymouth Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 763-509-5177 or make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers of Minnesota at 1-800-222-8477.
Meanwhile, a trust has been established to help the family. For more information on how to donate, you can go to the GoFundMe Page.