TAMPA — Summer Moll, the 4-year-old girl critically injured in a head-on crash in September, left Tampa General Hospital on her own feet Thursday after six weeks of therapy that allowed her to walk again.
Her mother, Jennifer O'Boyle, died in September after another woman drove the wrong way on the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway with a 0.244 percent blood-alcohol level, police said. The driver, Cheryl M. Riemann, faces multiple felony charges, including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
The crash broke bones in Summer's thigh, knee and ankle and left her with head injuries that required a plate in her skull.
Wearing blue jeans, white sneakers and a bandage on her head, Summer took step after unsteady step as she left the hospital. Her grandmother, Tammy Rosian, and father, Joshua Moll, who share custody, kissed her, walked with her and buckled her into the car.
Rosian said Summer has plenty of healing still to go, but moving home will give a much-needed return to normal life.
Summer has lots to look forward to — the NFL Experience this weekend, a Mickey Mouse birthday party, a February trip to Walt Disney World. Not to mention Mickey, the rat terrier, and Biscuit, the Maltese, who play in her room.
Moll said his focus is on Summer's healing now, but no punishment would fit Riemann.
"She made a mistake and killed (Summer's) mother. Now there's nothing we can do about that but let the judge put it in her hands," Moll said.
After speaking with reporters and saying goodbye to hospital staffers, the little girl prepared to leave. Tucked into the back seat of her "Mema's'' car as her dad waved from the sidewalk, Summer put her finger to her lips and smeared it into the window. She didn't stop kissing until the car drove away.
Drew Harwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3386.