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Family of Middlebury girl hit on bike hoping, praying for recovery

Girl injured in accident remains in critical condition.
Posted on July 13, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

MIDDLEBURY — Zion Carlstrom, a 17-year-old girl from Middlebury who was struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle Tuesday night, was in critical condition Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, friends and family remain hopeful and supportive as they wait to hear more on her recovery.

Carlstrom received injuries to her head, legs and shoulder when she was hit by a vehicle Tuesday around 10:19 p.m.

Blair Carlstrom, Zion's father and pastor at Waypoint community Church in Middlebury, said he won't know many details on her recovery until Sunday, after she goes through the appropriate examinations.

“We honestly don't know how to feel yet,” he said. “We have a lot of support and we know there are a lot of people praying for us and visiting us, and we are very grateful for that. But until we get a better prognosis we feel like we're kind of in a neutral zone at this point.”

The driver, who did not stop at the scene that night, was identified Wednesday as Pasquale Rulli, 26, of Middlebury after he came forward to talk with crash investigators.

Blair Carlstrom said he and his family have not given much thought to the fact that Rulli came forward to police, but instead continue to wait for news on Zion's recovery.

“We're glad he stepped forward and took responsibility,” he said. “We've already forgiven him and moved on to really being focused on Zion. I know he already messed up his own life as well.”

Some support came in through social media, with friends sending words of encouragement to Carlstrom and her family.

Church Community Services, of Elkhart, sent a facebook post asking friends to pray for Zion and her family.

Amy Brock production manager at Soup of Success and friend of the Carlstrom family, said Blair and his family would volunteer at Church Community Services, and Zion was always the “big sister” in the group of children.

“I loved watching her with other kids because she is such a good example with the other kids,” she said. “She would take the time and teach the younger ones. She's just a really good kid.”

Blair Carlstrom described his daughter as a “vibrant ball of energy.”

“She loves people, she has lots and lots of friends because of her personality and I feel like one of the things she's done best is serving people.”




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