Oro Valley woman Persis Draper, 92, told Pima County Sheriff deputies that she was on her way to buy dinner rolls for a friend's potluck when she struck a pedestrian.
Both Draper and a pedestrian were northbound on North La Cholla Boulevard at West Magee Road, said Deputy Tracy Suitt, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. The 43-year-old woman was jogging through the crosswalk when she was hit.
The woman was cited Saturday for hitting the 43-year-old pedestrian from behind, and then fled the scene. She claims that a sudden onset of diarrhea hit her and that was the reason why she didn't stop.
“The diarrhea started up again after the accident happened. I was going to stop, but then the diarrhea came and I didn’t stop,” Draper said.
Draper then drove to a nearby grocery store to use the restroom. While there, she bought the dinner rolls. After leaving the store, less than 45 minutes later, she drove back to the corner where the incident occurred, she said.
Another driver that witnessed the incident followed Draper and wrote down the license plate and turned it in to deputies at the scene.
“I didn’t leave a scene of an accident because I was running away. I’m not the type of individual who would do something like that. I left because I had diarrhea,” she said. “I went back to check and there wasn’t anybody there.”
Draper dropped off the dinner rolls at her church for the potluck before she went home.
“I was upset and I wasn’t feeling good because of the diarrhea,” Draper said. “When I got home I took a pill and went to sleep.”
Draper also said: “I called the insurance company right away.”
Draper faces charges of failure to control speed to avoid an accident; failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk; and leaving the scene of accident with injury and failure to render aid.
Because the charges Draper faces are a combination of misdemeanor and civil, she was not taken to jail, Suitt said.
Draper told arresting deputies that she left the scene because she was scared, Suitt said.
“It is unfortunate, it’s upsetting and I’m distraught. I can’t do anything about going back and it was not a hit and run. I just had no choice because I’d had diarrhea,” she said. “I don’t know what else I could have done. I empathize with her (the jogger). I’m saying my prayers and hoping everything turns out all right. I feel bad she got hurt.”
However, Draper said she was still groggy from the pill when the deputy came to her home and “I forgot to tell him that I had diarrhea and I had left (the scene) not to get away from it, but to take care of the diarrhea.”
Suitt said that the pedestrian was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released.
“She seems to be doing OK. Banged up, but doing OK,” he said.