In the Wake of a Hit and Run, A Family Struggles
Anchorage family left without a vehicle, income after collision last week
ANCHORAGE - Every year, Anchorage police respond to more than 1,000 hit-and-run collisions on city streets. Behind those numbers are faces, families whose lives are irrevocably changed.
Last week, Tasha Odom-Cain and Reggie Cain become one such family.
Their morning commute last Thursday began like any other. But as the couple passed through the intersection of 9th and L Street—just half a block from Tasha’s workplace—the couple’s truck was struck by another driver.
“I didn't see it, [Reggie] screamed my name,” Tasha said, “but by the time he screamed my name, it was too late.”
The car t-boned their truck, striking the door right next to Reggie’s arm. Their truck flew over a lane of traffic, coming to rest in front of the sign for Delaney Park. Witnesses said the driver fled the scene on foot, while a dazed passenger eventually did the same.
“I think the first thing that hit my mind was, oh my god, what just happened?” Tasha recalled. “Did this just happen? Is everyone okay?” She said her head had snapped into Reggie’s shoulder during the crash. She doesn’t remember the first few minutes after the collision, but Reggie said as soon as the car landed, he undid his seatbelt, left the vehicle, and went over to his wife’s side of the car.
He said she was dazed, unsure of where she was, and as he “was leaning over her, she couldn't move,” Reggie said. “And I tried to move her but she said, ‘oh baby, it hurts too much,’ and she started crying.”
“They've gotten worse, to the point if I sit up they're there, if I try to read they're there, or if I move around a lot,” she said.
“It's not like a migraine, it erupts around my whole head. They just keep getting more intense and more intense.”
Her doctors told her recovery will be a long process. “Whatever I hit, I hit it hard,” she sighed, “and so it’s going to take my muscles and body a long time to heal.”
But what worries her more is taking care of her family. They’re without a vehicle after the crash; Tasha said the insurance payout is thousands of dollars shy of the remaining payments. With Reggie a full-time student—and Tasha already maxing out her sick leave at her work—they’re also without an income.
“My job is what keeps the family going,” she said. “It's been stressful, it's a lot on my shoulders, and I'm not sure how we're going to do it.”