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Washburn University cheerleader hopes to inspire others as she recovers from hit and run

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Washburn University senior and cheerleader continues to recover from a hit-and-run wreck.

Erinn Billups remains hospitalized and hopes to return to the sidelines soon. She was crossing a street in Kansas City early Sunday morning, Oct. 24, when a vehicle hit her and drove off.

“I don’t really remember anything from it,” said Billups.

Billups said she and her friends were leaving a Kansas City bar.

“They had it set up for mom to pick them up so when our girls and kids were going over to the mom, that’s when the accident happened,” said Erinn’s mother Nicole Billups.

Nicole said her daughter suffered serious injuries, including skull and eye fractures, a broken nose and a concussion.

“I’m very thankful that it’s only like head fractures and stuff,” said Erinn. “It could’ve been my whole body but yesterday I was able to walk [my mom] in the hospital and able to get up and go to the bathroom whenever I need to. So I’m very fortunate of that standpoint because some people don’t survive getting hit by a car.”

“She had one moment where she said she got hit at recess and she was in 1990 but then they asked her who the Kansas City quarterback was and she had it right, Patrick Mahomes, and we knew she was okay then,” said Nicole.

Erinn’s mom says the vehicle was an SUV and they hope someone comes forward.

“Realize and, people, understand you can make a situation that’s an accident worse by not staying around and facing up to it, but they’re just making it harder on themselves by not coming forward,” said Nicole. “Take accountability because you could have destroyed her life. Fortunately, you didn’t.”

Erinn’s cheer coach, Tia Benyshek, said the team is rooting for her healing.

“We’re obviously just going to go with whatever the doctors say at this point so we are not trying to push her back in any way shape or form,” said Benyshek. “But Erinn is a go-getter, she is one tough cookie. She is just such a strong girl. We are excited for when Erinn can come back and join us.”

Though Erinn will miss a few practices, as well as Saturday’s homecoming game, she is still looking on the bright side.

“But we still have a lot more games left in the season so I’m not upset thinking that my season is over,” she said. ”I just have to have a positive mindset that everything’s going to get better and this happened to me for a reason so I can inspire other people to push forward.”

Authorities are still looking for the vehicle that hit Erinn.

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