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Victim’s family seeks public’s help

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The family of a Salt Lake County woman seriously injured in a weekend auto-pedestrian accident is asking for the public's help in finding the driver.

Linda Watkins, 51, and sister Julie Wardell, 55, were on their nightly walk on Bengal Boulevard (7600 South) Sunday about 9 p.m.

Near the entrance of Memorial Estates Cemetery, about 3100 East, the pair stopped walking as a red Jeep Cherokee left the cemetery in front of them, said Ashley Watkins, Linda's daughter. About 100 feet behind the red vehicle was a white Jeep Cherokee that was idling, Ashley Watkins said.

The women waited for a second to see what the Jeep would do and then continued walking when it didn't move. That's when the vehicle suddenly roared out of the entrance and hit both women.

Linda Watkins was knocked onto the hood of the car and fell off after the Jeep stopped. She was in front of Wardell when the Jeep hit them and actually cushioned the blow between the vehicle and her sister. With both women lying on the ground, the Jeep took off.

Linda Watkins was taken to LDS Hospital with a possible broken pelvis and internal bleeding. She was listed Tuesday in stable condition, according to her family.

Wardell suffered only scratches and bruises.

The sheriff's office has very limited information about the vehicle. Watkins said the windows of the Jeep were tinted, and neither woman could see the driver. The vehicle is described as a newer, white Jeep Cherokee last seen driving east on Bengal.

Anyone who may have information about the accident is asked to call the sheriff's office at 743-7000.