St. Paul hit-and-run victim also a victim of shutdown

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2013 - 9:22 PM

Family of Wade Souster wants the driver who hit him to come forward, and for the public’s help.

 

A 31-year-old man who was found unconscious in a St. Paul intersection last week will face a long recovery.

At a news conference Monday afternoon at Regions Hospital, the family of Wade Souster asked whoever was responsible for the hit-and-run accident that left the St. Paul man with life-threatening injuries to turn themselves in and for anyone else who has information to call police.

“They’ve gotten a lot of tips and we need more. Little pieces of sand can build a sand castle and that’s what we need in Wade’s case,” said Angie Hammerlindl, Souster’s cousin.

Souster is unconscious and on a ventilator at the hospital. He’s suffered brain injuries, pelvic and facial fractures, bruised lungs and a broken leg, said Dr. David Dries.

“He’s looking at a long and difficult recovery,” Dries said.

It also has been unusually hard to get a benefit fund set up for Souster because the government shutdown has prevented the family from obtaining a tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service, which is needed in order to set up a benefit account in his name at a bank, Hammerlindl said.

“To get stuck in politics is really hard in this situation,” she said.

Souster was discovered in the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street about 4 a.m. Thursday by a passerby. Police said it’s unclear how long he was lying in the median but he could have been there overnight. His cousin said it wasn’t unusual for Souster to take late night walks in the area.

Police believe the suspect vehicle was a dark colored car. The car involved could have fresh damage to the front, possibly on the driver’s side.

“I’m pleading to whoever did this, please come forward. … People make mistakes. Don’t make it worse by hiding or covering it up,” said Sandy Romero, Souster’s mother, in a ­prepared statement.

Souster grew up in Inver Grove Heights but was living in the Lake Phalen area. He’s single and comes from a large family. Souster is a longtime employee of the Downtowner Car Wash in St. Paul. The carwash is offering $2,500 for information leading to a criminal conviction.

Anyone with information can call police at 651-266-5722.

 

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

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  • At Regions Hospital in St. Paul, mother Sandy Romero, left, and cousin Angie Hammerlindl asked that the driver who hit Wade Souster come forward to St. Paul police.

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