INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A teenage girl recovering from injuries suffered in a crash on Friday has shown signs of improvement. Seventeen-year-old Shelley Cunningham's condition was upgraded on Monday from critical to serious according to a spokesperson with Centerpoint Medical Center.
The William Chrisman High School junior had just left school on Friday afternoon when the driver of a suspected stolen truck crashed into her car at 24 Highway and E. Parker. Police and crash witnesses were concerned that Cunningham wouldn't survive, and friends and family were fearing the worst.
"It's extremely tough. Family loves her greatly, she's a beautiful person inside and out," said Cunningham's cousin, Richard McDonald.
"Lots of treatments and surgeries; we're very hopeful that she is making progress, and it's just a miracle that she survived, and we're just all praying that she does fully recover."
The driver who allegedly caused the crash ran from the scene, but was found and arrested in the 900 block of Strode a short time later. As of Monday afternoon, formal charges have yet to be filed against that driver, but he remains in jail.
Shelley Cunningham's sister, Shannon, says a prayer vigil will be held Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at William Chrisman High School.