Norman hit-and-run victim in critical condition, partially paralyzed

NORMAN, Okla. - Last Monday was like any other for Charlene Hughes and her husband Jim.

"Monday, I got up. I fixed breakfast, we ate. I said, 'I'm going to work, I love you.' She told me she loved me," said Jim Hughes. "That was the last word she said."

Jim said he got a call from Norman Police later in the afternoon on May 21, saying Charlene had been airlifted to the hospital in critical condition. Norman police said last week that Charlene was retrieving the mail from her mailbox in the 1300 block of 180th Avenue Northeast when she was struck by a Cadillac SUV, which then took off.

The next day, authorities said Misti Dawn Miller, 38, of Newall turned herself in.

"At this point, charges are pending the completion of that investigation," said Norman Police spokesperson Sarah Jensen. "The big reason for that is that we are monitoring the status of the individual that was injured in the collision."

Hughes, who is still in critical condition after suffering broken vertebrae in her neck, is still partially paralyzed.

"Charlene is extremely active and that's what breaks my heart right now," said Jim, through tears. "I don't know if she's going to be active again."

A GoFundMe campaign has since been started to help with medical bills and other needs the couple may have in the coming weeks and months. Charlene has had several surgeries since the incident and will likely need to spend time in a long-term acute care facility.

According to court records, this isn't Miller's first run-in with the law. She pleaded guilty in 2006 to leaving the scene of a crash causing injury back in 2003. She received a four year deferred sentence.

Miller was also indicted by a federal grand jury in 2009 with forgery and identity theft for allegedly defrauding a construction company in 2004. Prior to surrendering for a prison sentence, she requested a time extension after claiming her parent's Newalla home was destroyed in the May 2013 tornado outbreak.

But when the FBI went to check it out, court records say Miller's parent's home wasn't destroyed at all. Miller was sentenced to nine months in federal prison on contempt and forgery charges.

Now as police continue the investigation into the hit-and-run, Jim Hughes is hoping his wife, his dancing partner of 20 years, will be able to make a full recovery.

"This is not going to be easy, but there is a way," he said. "And if God's willing, we are going to dance again. I will dance with her."