The blue sedan driven by 20-year-old Maresa Cappelli after it was struck head-on by a minivan that entered her lane on Highway 3 on June 21, 2019.
Dax Melmer / Windsor Star
Details about the condition of a female driver who was critically injured in a hit-and-run crash last month are being shared by her family — who are asking for the public’s prayers and support as she continues her struggle in hospital.Maresa Cappelli, 20, originally from the community of Iron Bridge, has been moved out of the intensive care unit but remains in hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries, according to a GoFundMe campaign started on her behalf.“Maresa is still not fully aware, but she is off life support, and able to open both of her eyes now,” wrote Frank Cappelli, her father, in an update on Tuesday. “Keep her in your thoughts and prayers, her fight is still not over.”So far, the young crash victim has undergone a tracheostomy and surgical procedures on her jaw and ear.She was in a coma for more than a week. Her list of injuries included a broken jaw, broken ear canal, broken hand, and brain swelling.She is currently housed on the neurology floor of the London Health Sciences Centre.
Maresa Cappelli of Windsor in a Facebook image uploaded May 1, 2019.
On June 21, around noon, Maresa was driving a blue sedan on Highway 3 between Victoria Avenue and County Road 8. In the passenger seat was her father, Frank.A silver minivan in an oncoming lane attempted a multi-vehicle pass — colliding with the Cappellis’ car head on.Both vehicles were severely damaged and came to rest in a ditch at the side of the road.The driver of the minivan left the scene on foot.Stephen Brewster, 32, of Windsor, was eventually located and arrested by authorities on June 27. He faces nine charges under the Criminal Code and the Highway Traffic Act — including three counts of driving while under suspension.Maresa Cappelli’s family wrote that the incident occurred 11 days after her birthday. At the time of the crash, she and her father were travelling home after Maresa had had an interview for a job at a Windsor dental office.Frank was also injured in the collision, suffering three broken ribs. Maresa’s family believe that her last-second swerve spared her father worse damage, but resulted in greater injury to herself.Related
In an update, Frank Cappelli wrote that a major nerve in Maresa’s face was severed, but surgeons were able to reattach it with minimal scarring.According to Facebook posts by her mother, Maresa is not disfigured and her procedures so far have gone well.The GoFundMe campaign was started to help with extra medical expenses, travel costs, missed wages, and legal fees. More than $9,000 has been raised, as of Thursday afternoon.“Her life will forever be changed, battling like a fierce warrior,” the GoFundMe page states. “The road is long, the sun might not always shine, but with all the support and love of hundreds, she will get through this, and our family will be whole again.”firstname.lastname@example.org
An OPP technical collision investigator photographs the silver minivan involved in a head-on crash with a car driven by Maresa Cappelli, 20, on Highway 3 on June 21, 2019.
Dax Melmer /