Unborn child dies in hit-and-run after baby shower, mom expected to be OK

National News

LAUREL, MS (WNCN) — A first-time mother and elementary school teacher from Laurel, Mississippi, lost her unborn baby when a serial drunk driver hit her car about 15 minutes after she left her baby shower, her father, Maurice Pruitt Sr., told a local Mississippi outlet.

The man charged in the wreck has three prior DUI convictions, The Laurel-Leader Call reported.

Mashayla Harper, who was 36 weeks pregnant with a girl to be named Londyn Alise Jones, was left bleeding and banged up on the roadside in the Soso community, Pruitt said.

Her father says a hunter found 24-year-old Harper and called for help.

Harper, who was initially on life support in critical condition, is expected to live, her father says.

“To see our baby go from this being the happiest day if her life to I.C.U. in a matter of minutes was a complete tragedy. That idiot hit her head on and left her out there on that road to die,” her father said in a Facebook post.

“They are through with all her surgeries,” Pruitt said. “Everything is fine. She is awake. She knows that her baby died. She is really sad. She doesn’t want anyone to leave her right now. They are allowing her mother to stay with her.”

The Laurel Leader-Call reported that James Cory Gilbert, 33, is being held at the Jones County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond, according to the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

He faces five charges as a result of the accident, according to the sheriff’s office: driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, leaving the scene causing injuries, marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia, District Attorney Tony Buckley reportedly told the Laurel Leader-Call.

Harper’s due date was Feb. 11. She was tracking the baby’s progress on Facebook, posting a chart before Christmas that showed she was in her third and final trimester.

A Gofundme page has been set up to help with Harper’s medical and living expenses. She will be unable to work for an extended period.

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