A mother of three whose passion for running was abruptly halted following a terrifying hit and run incident has appealed to others to watch out for reckless drivers as many embark on their New Year fitness regimes.
Jennifer Kenny from Tinahely in Wicklow is still recovering from the incident which took place in October near her home.
"I was walking on the path, wearing a high-vis vest at about 12.40 p.m. It was October 10 and a white van with a trailer drove by in the opposite direction. The wheel came out from the trailer and struck me just over my knee at full force," Jennifer told the Wicklow People.
While Jennifer was doubled over in pain, the driver stopped the van, got out and picked up the wheel which had come loose and pushed it back on. He then drove off.
"I didn't get the registration and I don't even know if he saw me on the road, but a part of me hopes he didn't because it would be worse to think he saw me in agony and then drove off," she said in the Wicklow People.
Jennifer was rushed to A&E where she had x-rays and doctors told her that she had extensive tissue damage and swelling.
"There was and still is a lot of fluid on my knee. I used to love running and I would have been out four to five times a week."
Jennifer couldn't drive for six weeks and had to use crutches. She is still not able to run and is awaiting an MRI scan and further physiotherapy to determine the status of her injury.
The matter was reported to the gardaí but an arrest has not yet been made.
Jennifer is keen to create awareness of the incident and to ask motorists who drive vehicles with trailers to ensure that their load is well tied down and their wheels are secure.
"I was on the path and I had a high-vis on in the middle of the day and this still happened to me. I don't even know if the person who did it knows the extent of their actions and it is frustrating that nobody was ever caught for it. At this time of year, many people will start off walking or running in the evenings and I would like to appeal to them to be as safe as possible. I would hate this to happen to anybody else," Jennifer said.