SWIMMING: Hit-and-run suspect turned in by father

Josh Buckman

The driver that hit Western swimmer Lori Ludwiczak and fled the scene Friday night was turned in to Kentucky State Police by his father on Monday.

The driver of the sport utility vehicle, an 18-year-old male, struck Ludwiczak’s 1996 Chevrolet Blazer. According to state trooper Chad Winn, no arrest was made. Once the report is finished, the case will be turned over to the Warren County Attorney’s office to determine what charges, if any, will be filed.

While one loose end in the accident appears to be tied, Ludwiczak is still dealing with the reality of her injuries. She was taken to The Medical Center after the wreck and was released Monday afternoon.

“I suffered three broken ribs and a neck injury,” said Ludwiczak, a sophomore. “My stomach hurts, and I’m having a hard time taking my pain medicine.”

But as she recovers, teammates are thankful it wasn’t worse.

“We were scared,” senior teammate Deanne Thomas said. “She knows she’s lucky.”

The Lady Topper swimmers will now have to deal with the loss of Ludwiczak, the 2002 Sun Belt Conference finalist in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke. Doctors expect she won’t return to the pool for at least a month.

Her injury will complicate matters for a Western squad that lost nine seniors from 2001. But coach Bill Powell remains confident.

“Our kids are great at rising to the occasion,” Powell said. “Somebody will fill in for her and do a great job. We do what we have to do. We lose somebody, somebody else steps in.”

With the first meet of the season less than a month away, members of the team are hopeful for a quick recovery.

“I’m not worried about losing Lori,” Thomas said. “I think she’ll only miss one or two meets, and the first one doesn’t even keep score.”

Powell said Ludwiczak’s injuries will take time to heal.

“Ribs are hard to heal, especially for a swimmer. You use that part of your body a lot, so it’s going to be tough on her,” he said. “She’s a tough kid, and she wants to get back. And the more you want it, the quicker you get back. I know she is going to get back quicker than most people.”

The date and time for the swimming team’s annual Red-White intrasquad meet has been changed. It will now take place at 10:00 a.m. Oct. 12.

Reach Josh Buckman at [email protected]