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Woman Hit by Her Own Stolen Car Dies

Riverside resident's family agrees to remove her from life support. Car isn't yet found.

November 12, 2003|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

The family of 19-year-old Pamela Thompson unanimously agreed to remove the seriously injured woman from a life-support machine Monday night, and police continued the search for the thief who stole her car and ran her over with it.

Officers had yet to find Thompson's car Tuesday.

While telling her mother by cellular phone that her dark blue 1993 Nissan Sentra had been stolen Friday night, Thompson was struck by the car in the parking lot of her Riverside apartment complex, in the 3100 block of Canyon Crest Drive near UC Riverside.

At 7:54 p.m. Monday, Thompson, a 2002 graduate of North High School in Riverside, was declared dead at Riverside Community Hospital after being removed from a ventilator.

"The tests showed she had suffered brain death, and we all absolutely agreed it wasn't right to let her go on," said Joe Dietz, Thompson's stepfather. "I know I wouldn't want that for myself."

Dietz said doctors told Thompson's family that she sustained a brain fracture when she was struck by the car, an injury that eliminated all blood flow to her brain.

Dietz said Thompson also suffered a broken pelvis and many broken facial bones.

"Whoever did this was a coward; that's what really [angers] me -- how cowardly this was," Dietz said. "I'm hoping and praying [police] find who did this."

Dietz said Thompson's family has provided police with information that may prove helpful but refused to be specific.

"At times, I get feelings that [Thompson] might have known the person who did this, and at other times I think it could've been a random thing," Dietz said.

The Nissan Sentra had a bumper sticker on it reading, "I Support Our Troops and President Bush."

Thompson aspired to become a neonatal nurse, Dietz said.

The family plans to decide on funeral plans today.

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