Witnesses rush to crash victim’s aid to give CPR, but 73-year-old woman dies from injuries in Belton

BELTON, Mo. -- On Friday night, Beverly Silliman was trying to cross five-lane highway when she was struck by a vehicle. Witnesses tried to help her, but Silliman died after she was taken to a hospital from the scene at Highway 58 and Outer Road.

“I got home and there was this woman’s blood on my hands and my pants,” said Deborah Schwartz, a good Samaritan who stopped to perform CPR on 73-year-old Silliman.

Silliman was walking to get something to eat just blocks from her home.

“He said, 'I’m just going to be blunt, because there’s no other way I can say this to you,' and I said how, and he said, 'she got hit by a car,'” said John Prochazka, Silliman’s son.

Prochazka said his brother called him Friday night with the awful news.

“Mom shouldn’t have been walking, Prochazka added. “She had a walker, she chose not to use it.”

Silliman was on her way to Taco Bell — just a couple blocks away from her house

“She has heart problems, so every once in a while she gets light-headed, her equilibrium goes out and she falters,” Prochazka said. “I think that mom just had one of her episodes, and stepped right out in front of traffic and somebody hit her.”

“I was on my way home, and we were driving down 58 Highway, and I was in the far right lane about to get on the highway, and there were cars stopped everywhere,” added Schwartz, “There was a woman on the ground.”

Schwartz decided to stop and help.

“I have medical assistant training, so I’ve been certified in CPR and all that,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz says another good Samaritan who happened to be a registered nurse also stopped. They both did CPR.

“There was a wound on her head, there was blood coming from her head, she had a broken leg, so we turned her over, she had a very, very faint pulse when we first got here,” Schwartz added.

Silliman’s daughter, Jacqueline Rivera, says she was a pretty active woman and walked a lot. She was a giver, loved books, and vanilla ice cream.

“She was one of the funniest, most loving people you’d ever meet, she had a heart that was so big, she would help anybody around her, that was just who she was,” said Rivera.

She also says she feels for the person who hit her mom.

“I don’t blame the driver, no, I don’t think this is something anyone could have avoided, that’s the sad part,” added Rivera, “I’m sure it was shorter, and it was hot, I’m sure there were a million and one excuses, but what it really boils down to is safety.”

Police say this is still under investigation. Everyone involved hopes people can learn from this to use the crosswalk, and pay attention while driving.