Driver sought after hit-and-run involving Midtown student


Atlanta Police Department

Atlanta Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the driver involved in an accident that left a Midtown student seriously injured over a week ago. The vehicle is a silver Honda Pilot.

Jamie Marlowe

More than a week after a Midtown student was seriously injured in a hit and run, the driver has still not been identified, and Atlanta police are appealing for the public’s help.

The incident occurred Nov. 7 at 11:32 p.m. on Lanier Boulevard in Virginia-Highland, following a party attended by Midtown students. The victim, senior Kadavy Bergstrom, remains in Grady Hospital.

The silver Honda Pilot that struck and dragged Bergstrom was captured on security cameras owned by private residences and businesses in the neighborhood.

“[The driver] knows they hit Kadavy, and they know they dragged her for 68 feet, and they left her for dead,” Kadavy’s father Mick Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom suffered serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, spine and ribs, a partially collapsed lung and serious road rash requiring skin grafts. She has had three major surgeries in the past week and faces a long road to recovery.

“Every doctor has said, ‘I can’t believe she’s alive,’” Mick Bergstrom said.

The suspect was captured on cameras in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood and was also tracked driving down North Avenue toward Candler Park on the night of the incident.

“I went out two times to the scene, pitch black at night, to see what that view was,” Bergstrom’s mother Joanne Bergstrom said. “It’s a well-lit area. There is absolutely no way, even if someone was dressed in all black from head to toe, to miss somebody.”

Junior Ryan Willingham-Bruni attended the party and found Bergstrom alone on Lanier Boulevard after the hit-and-run. He covered her exposed wounds with his flannel shirt.

“I want [people] to realize how bad she had actually gotten injured, and if they do know anything, then this is one of those times where you can’t stay quiet just to not snitch because this girl could have died,” Willingham-Bruni said. “I just think that if anybody knows anything at all, then they should definitely come forward – even if it’s something minor.”

The investigation is ongoing, and Joanne Bergstrom said they are receiving new, clear visuals of the vehicle on camera. She is grateful for the support from the community so far.

“Our entire community has really rallied behind us,” Joanne Bergstrom said. “Everybody’s offering to help; we’ve had an unbelievable outpouring of support, and it’s still ongoing.”

Bergstrom’s parents take turns sleeping by their daughter’s side at the hospital. While the start of her recovery has been difficult and characterized by intense pain, they are confident in her care at Grady Hospital. Midtown students wrote cards for Bergstrom that were delivered to her in the hospital earlier this week.

“You hear about that happening to anybody else but not your own kid,” Joanne Bergstrom said. “We hope if someone knows something, [they say] something.”

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.