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Butler University cross country runner struck by vehicle near Canal Towpath, driver flees

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Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 18:52:42-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A Butler University cross country runner is recovering from serious injuries caused by a driver that fled the scene.

According to court documents from IMPD, Charlie Schuman was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was running with a friend on the Canal Towpath on Nov. 2.

"Not being able to run or any physical activity has messed with me in a way that I didn’t really think about," Schuman told WRTV on Friday.

Officers on the scene learned Schuman was hit by a white SUV. The driver fled the scene without stopping to provide information or aid.

"I was hit, knocked unconscious and the driver just left the scene," Schuman said.

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Court documents revealed Schuman suffered significant injuries, which included a concussion, orbital fractures, bruised lungs, trace pneumothorax, patella fractures, ACL tears, MCL tears and a meniscus tear.

"Being so aware, when you see those flashing lights and the markings on the ground that there are pedestrians are the biggest thing," Schuman said.

The alleged driver of that vehicle, Donald Brown Jr., has been arrested and is charged with Failure to Remain at the Scene of an Accident with Moderate or Serious Bodily, a Level 6 felony, and Driving While Suspended.

A probable cause affidavit revealed Brown is the boyfriend of the owner of the white 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe that was located in the area. Traffic cameras showed a male driver, driving east of W. 29th Street minutes after the crash.

When police spoke with Brown, he denied that he was driving the vehicle at the time of the collision. Court documents state Brown told police he loaned the vehicle to his friend, Patrick Walker.

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But upon further investigation, police learned Patrick Walker was incarcerated and would not be released until 2025.

Police also say Brown had a suspended license for failing to provide insurance for a prior accident.

On Dec. 17, police spoke to Schuman's mother who said he has undergone surgery to fix his right LPL and is scheduled for nose surgery.

Doctors hope his torn ACLs will heal on their own. But if not, Schuman may require additional surgery and lengthy physical therapy.

Schuman is a Carmel High School grad and a sophomore at Butler University. He recently placed fourteenth in the 7.162K at the Vic Godfrey Open.

"I would like to be running for the team again and doing races, but most importantly, I would like to run with my friends again," Schuman said.