Arlington native injured while working as TV reporter in Charlotte

Posted Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Arlington native Caroline Vandergriff -- a television news reporter in Charlotte, N.C. -- remained hospitalized Thursday with numerous broken bones after being struck at an intersection that was darkened because of storm-related power outages.

Vandergriff, a graduate of Arlington Lamar High School and the daughter of Victor and Kristin Vandergriff, joined the News 14 Carolina in December.

The 24-year-old reporter was in stable condition at Carolinas Medical Center-Main, where she was being treated for a fractured skull, broken pelvis, broken arm and other injuries, her father said.

"Fortunately, the brain trauma turned out not to be as bad as they feared at first," Victor Vandergriff said. "She'll recover from all this. It's just a matter of time."

The station said Vandergriff was shooting video of downed power lines at an intersection in Charlotte about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when she was struck.

A witness told the Charlotte Observer that Vandergriff was standing on the sidewalk with her video camera when the two cars crashed in the intersection. One of the cars slid across the sidewalk where she was filming, briefly sending Vandergriff airborne, the witness said.

"She didn't have any opportunity to get out of the way," Victor Vandergriff said. "She remembers being hit. She saw the car coming at her. Then the next thing she remembers is rain hitting her in the face and she is lying on the side of the street."

In a statement on the News 14 Carolina website, the TV station reports that Vandergriff is "awake, alert, upbeat and surprised at the attention this accident has generated. ... All of us at News 14 Carolina and Time Warner Cable have her in our thoughts and prayers. We wish Caroline a speedy recovery and will be with her every step of the way."

Vandergriff said his daughter has a long road of recovery ahead of her.

"She was already anxious to go back to work," Vandergriff said. "She is resilient. She is a fighter. She is feisty. I am confident she will bounce back."

The Vandergriff family thanked the community for their outpouring of prayers and concern.

"It's very gratifying. We've got a lot of great friends and family," Vandergriff said. "We experienced first-hand today that the power of prayer and community support works."

Charlotte Observer staff writers Cameron Steele and April Bethea contributed to this report.

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