Mother-of-two hit by shopping cart ‘thrown from fourth floor by laughing boys’ was buying Halloween treats for under-privileged kids
Two 12-year-old boys have been arrested for hurling a shopping cart from a fourth floor walkway that hit and critically injured a mother-of-two who was shopping for underprivileged children.
Marion Hedges has been left fighting for her life after she was struck by the falling cart when the dangerous prank went wrong on Sunday evening in the East Harlem district of Manhattan, New York.
The 47-year-old, who works as a real estate agent, had been walking with her 13-year-old son on the ground floor when she was hit, reported the New York Post. Her son was not injured in the incident.
Marion Hedges was devoted to helping underprivileged children like the two who dropped a shopping trolley on her.
She helps out at Manhattan’s Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center and was out on Sunday buying sweets for trick-or-treaters.
‘She’s a terrific member,’ the centre’s executive director Wanda Wooten told the New York Daily News. ‘You can’t believe this happened.’
Mrs Hedges attended the $37,500-a-year private Spence school and then the $40,400-a-year Barnard College in Manhattan. She has a 13-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter.
The real estate worker was the daughter of a businessman and a doctor and her husband is currently working in Spain for Merrill Lynch.
‘She’s a super, super nice person,’ a family friend told the New York Daily News.
‘She’s been involved in not for profits and charities for more than 25 years.’
Police said the cart was thrown from a walkway that connects a parking garage to a Target store where Mrs Hedges had just finished shopping.
Mrs Hedges, who also has a daughter, was rushed to Harlem Hospital where she is reported to be in a stable condition but remains unconscious.
The two boys have been charged as juveniles with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon. They were arrested after one of their friends reported the prank to the police.
‘They deliberately pushed it over the edge,’ a law-enforcement source told the New York Post. ‘They’re a bunch of stupid kids, they made a bad decision. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
According to a family friend, Mrs Hedges was shopping for candy at Costco for the Stanley M Isaacs Neighborhood Center, a community centre for the elderly.
Mrs Hedges has worked with charities for over 25 years and is currently involved in at least six different projects. ‘She is such a super, super nice person,’ the friend said.
Mrs Hedges’s husband, Michael is flying home from Spain, where he works as the head of emerging markets trading and structuring at Auriga Sociedad de Valoresworks.
Speaking of Mrs Hedges’s condition, his father, who is also called Michael told the New York Post: ‘It’s in God’s hands now. It’s so hard to tell.’
‘They have her sedated right now, she’s unconscious. It’s not quite clear what happened but I hear she has some broken bones and some cranial injuries—there’s some blood up there,’ he added gesturing to his head.
‘They’re letting us up two at a time and we can only stay for five minutes.
‘You can’t really see anything up there—it’s just her lying in a bed unconscious with 50 thousand tubes in her. She’s stable, they’re keeping her stable and her respiratory system is functioning.’
When asked about what should happen to those responsible for throwing the shopping cart, Mr Hedges said, ‘They should have the book thrown at them.’
He also said that his grandson was ‘holding up well—he’s a brave young man.’
A 47-year-old friend of the family added: ‘That is one tough kid. That little kid marched down to the police department this morning to give a statement. He’s such a tough little kid. They’re the nicest, kindest family.’
At a hearing on Monday, the boys were remanded in the custody of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services, the city’s child welfare agency.
The pair will attend an arraignment hearing on November 4.
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