By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“This man left my son for dead, face down on the road.”
Merle Zahniser‘s son is 44-year-old Sean Lowry, who was riding his motorcycle on Admiral Way two months ago when “this man” hit him and drove away.
Sean wasn’t expected to survive. He did. Merle has more to say about that. But the main reason she contacted WSB is this plea:
“We really need the witnesses who saw the driver to step up and work with the detective.”
The driver, she says, is not a mystery; the vehicle was found. The witnesses are not a mystery – at least, some of them.
What is a mystery is why they are not fully cooperating with police.
As she talked with us by phone this morning, she was in Sean’s room at a nursing/rehab facility, where she and his girlfriend have been with him almost around the clock.
“Sean is doing amazingly well, considering what he has been through.” He was in a coma for six days; she says doctors at Harborview Medical Center thought he had only a “one percent chance” of emerging from it. “Fortunately he has a strong desire to come back … he is improving every day.”
He cannot – yet – walk, but he just achieved a milestone, Merle says – he was able to transfer himself from bed to wheelchair. Also, “his cognition is better” – he is writing in a journal, including simple things to help that cognition – as simple as what happened, why he is in a rehab facility. They are hoping and praying that improvement continues, both mental and physical; next milestone would be the ability to bear weight on his left side, which in a few weeks would allow him to go back to Harborview for an intensive rehab program. “He’s had to relearn everything.”
And yet, that’s a miracle, his mom says. “His neurosurgeon is so happy his assessment was wrong” – that Sean survived.
But while his will can help him accomplish a lot, and while his loved ones can offer seemingly boundless support, there’s one thing they can’t do.
The witnesses need to work with police. Merle points to WSB commenters following our coverage of the crash, which included at least one person who said they had seen the hit-run driver.
“(People) were talking about the driver not doing the right thing. They’re doing the same by not stepping up.”
If witness(es) see this and want to talk to Merle, we can connect you. Or maybe you lost the detective’s contact information? (Det. Feuerstein, 206-684-8934; case #19-098823)
Meanwhile, Merle and Sean’s girlfriend Mel remain at Sean’s bedside. “I hope that he will come back,” fully, Merle says. And don’t even ask about the bills – since he is still in care, there’s no final tally yet; the GoFundMe remains open.
One more time, Merle repeats her plea, through tears: Witnesses, please “step up” and help police so the driver who left Sean for dead can be fully prosecuted.