Woman hit by suspected drunk driver still in hospital, family says

Couple was walking on sidewalk near historic cemetery when hit, deputies say

By Allyson Henning - Reporter

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Nearly a week after a couple was hit by a suspected drunk driver while walking near a historic St. Augustine cemetery, a woman is still in the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries, according to her family members.

On Monday, Zanobia Sterba, 20, was said to be in critical condition. According to investigators, she and her boyfriend, Leigh West, 27, were walking along the sidewalk last Tuesday night when they were struck by a heavy-duty pickup truck, which plowed into a wall of the Tolomato Cemetery, damaging the gravesite of a 5-year-old boy.

West was released from the hospital but is staying by his girlfriend's side as she continues down a long road to recovery. Sterba has had two surgeries. She has an injured backbone and a shattered pelvis. Her hips, legs and ankles are broken, and she has a broken wrist.

RELATED: Police: Drunk driver hits couple on sidewalk, smashes through wall

Patricia Price, who has stayed by her sister's side during her surgeries, said Sterba can't move from her waist down.

"She (Sterba) is extremely frustrated because she feels helpless. She has always been very proactive," Price said. "The first few days were the toughest because she couldn't talk to us fully. She keeps reliving the event."

Doctors say Sterba will be able to walk again, but additional surgeries and physical therapy will be necessary. Price said Sterba wants to share her story and advocate against drunk driving once she's back on her feet.

A GoFundMe account has been created online to help with Sterba's medical expenses.

Justin Lee Edwards, 29, was arrested and charged with DUI after the crash. An estimated $10,000 in damage was done to the cemetery.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.