Hit-and-run victim’s condition worsens

by Katherine Lymn

Ben Van Handel, who was the most severely injured victim of last week’s hit-and-run, appears to be near death, according to an entry by his family in a CaringBridge page.

“It with a very heavy heart that I need to share that Ben is restfully sleeping, enjoying his last night with us,” Van Handel’s mom wrote on the page at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. “Our hearts are broken.”

Van Handel, an economics major at the University, was among three students injured when a wrong-way driver plowed into two groups of pedestrians on Fifth Street Southeast early Friday. He was in a coma, according to the CaringBridge page.

The driver has not been located, and police are searching for a white Toyota, built in the early 2000s and with front-end damage.