Amid controversy over suspect's release, hit and run victim says 'system failed'

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The victim of a hit and run crash is speaking out after the suspect was released from the Marion County jail.

Church daycare teacher Jessica Parks, 27, said after checking traffic, she stepped off a curb. She said she never saw the car that hit her.

Parks suffered critical leg injuries in the crash, which happened along 38th Street near Mitthoeffer Road. Parks was walking to work.

The alleged hit-and-run driver was stopped a short time later. Juana Loa-Nunez was in the country illegally.

From her room at Eskenazi Hospital where she continues to recover, Parks shared her thoughts on the suspect’s release.

"I still forgive her, let’s start with that first," Parks said. "I feel Marion County as well as ICE did not do what they were supposed to do to make sure this lady got the consequences she was supposed to get and now I feel like the system has failed."

As for her injuries, Parks sees the bright side first.

“The doctors are fascinated how fast everything is healing.“

And there's no hospital gown today. Instead, a dress and pearls say Jessica is ready to go home, eight days after she was admitted.

There is security camera video of the crash aftermath, the gray car taking off after police say it struck Jessica as she crossed the street.

A church bus driven by one of Parks' co-workers caught up with the suspect and boxed in the car.

Loa was arrested for hit-and-run and no drivers license. ICE asked the jail to hold her because she was in the country illegally. But she posted bond last week and walked free. The jail said ICE missed a deadline for filing the hold request.

Parks fears the suspect may now disappear.

"So now she is out here free and she is a flight risk, not just to herself but to other people as well. She did this to me and she may do it to somebody else accidentally as well."

On Tuesday, Parks learned the suspect had no auto insurance, making medical bills a new burden.

Parks said Tuesday she is recovering from the leg injury.

"I'm able to bear weight on it and walk pretty well."

The surgical wound on her other leg is healing well after a compound fracture. And Parks continues to see the bright side.

"Instead of being all sad about your situation you change your outlook on the situation. I’m not going to be sad. You make the best of your situation."

Parks did not have health insurance. Her family set up a account to collect donations to help with medical expenses.