A Columbus woman who was seriously injured when she and her husband were hit by a minivan while walking in a Taylor Road bike lane has improved to stable condition.
The upgraded condition for Samira Bhardwaj, 28, was released Friday morning by Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, where she has been under medical care since Sunday’s accident.
Bhardwaj had been listed in critical condition for the first four days following the accident, which happened at 7:15 p.m. near the intersection of Taylor Road and Lakeside Drive.
Bhardwaj’s husband, Anshul Sharma, 30, a Cummins engineer, died in the hit-and-run accident, Columbus police said.
An acquaintance of Bhardwaj, Rajib Panda of Columbus, said Bhardwaj does not remember what happened or the accident details. Friends and family members hope that she will be soon be medically stable enough to return to India to recover with the help of her extended family there, he said.
Sharma’s body was flown back to India this week to his family, Panda said.
The couple, who had been married about a year, developed many friends in the community who are continuing to visit Bhardwaj in the hospital, Panda said.
Sharma and Bhardwaj were walking on the east side of Taylor Road in a 6-and-a-half foot buffered bicycle lane when police allege that a minivan driver, Michael B. Demaio, 36, 2023 Chandler Lane, struck them from behind and left the scene.
Sharma was pronounced dead at the scene and Bhardwaj was transported by helicopter to Methodist, police said. Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting declared Sharma’s death homicide, with his report showing that Sharma died from blunt force trauma to his head and upper cervical spine.
Demaio is charged in Bartholomew Superior Court 2 with felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death and resulting in injury and felony failure to stop after an accident resulting in death and in injury.
Demaio is scheduled for an initial hearing on the charges at 1:30 p.m. April 24 in Bartholomew Superior Court 2.