Arrest Made in Richardson Boy's Hit-and-Run

Attorney says suspect does not remember crash, could be epileptic

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 6:00 PM CDT
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The woman accused of hitting 12-year-old Devin Byrd told her lawyer she doesn't remember it happening.

Kimberly King, NBCDFW.com

The woman accused of hitting 12-year-old Devin Byrd told her lawyer she doesn't remember it happening.

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Attorney: Hit-and-Run Suspect Doesn't Remember Crash

The attorney for a woman suspected of hitting an 11-year-old boy in Richardson says he believes his client had an epileptic seizure at the time of the hit-and-run.

Woman Faces Felony Charge in Hit-and-Run

Elaine Bainbridge, 62, was charged with failure to stop and render aid.
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Richardson police have made an arrest in connection with a hit-and-run that hospitalized an 11-year-old boy Thursday.

Elaine Burbridge, 62, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the crash and charged with failure to stop and render aid -- a third-degree felony. Burbridge is free on a $5,000 bond.

Police say Burbridge struck Devin Byrd as he rode his go-kart on the sidewalk near his grandmother's home on Twilight Trail.

Devin was dragged several feet, and the driver sped off.

Police impounded Burbridge's sport utility vehicle, which was found in her driveway two blocks away.

"If she was consciously trying to get away from an accident that she knew about, she would have parked her car in the garage, where most people that are trying to hide something would put their vehicle," said Scott Palmer, Burbridge's attorney.

Police said Burbridge continues to deny involvement in the hit-and-run and contends that she was the only one who had driven her vehicle.

Palmer said his client has a history of blacking out and losing consciousness and doesn't remember the crash.

"Up to this point, she didn't have any doctor telling her she was an epileptic, so the proof is in the actual facts of the case, and it screams that there's something wrong with this woman that would explain why she did this," he said.

Palmer said he believes Burbridge will be diagnosed with a condition that will prevent her from driving in the future.

In Texas, a person must be seizure-free for six months before driving again. People with epilepsy are required to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles when they get or renew their licenses.

Witness Corin Caridine said she "heard a thumping sound as a black Toyota SUV jumped a curb" and another witness gave police a license plate that was one digit off from Burbridge's plate. Byrd's best friend, who witnessed the collision, identified Burbridge in a police lineup.

Byrd remains in critical condition at Children's Medical Center, said Karen Morris, his grandmother.

"He was just a lovable kid. He was where he was supposed to be -- up on the sidewalk, in a park," she said. "It wasn't like he was out on the street asking for it."

His family said doctors put the boy in a medically induced coma Tuesday because they can't stop the swelling on his brain.

Morris said her grandson was "mutilated" by the accident. He sustained massive head trauma, a broken leg and cuts and bruises all over his body from being dragged.

Burbridge's attorney said his client, a grandmother, has been writing books about parenting and grandparenting since retiring from her job as a legal aide.

NBC 5's Ellen Goldberg, Kimberly King and Susy Solis contributed to this report.


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