Someone You Should Know

Hit-and-run survivor's message for man responsible

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) - For the first time since she was run over in a hit-and-run, Amber Wilhelm is opening up about the man who hit her.

KSNT News Anchor Brooke Lennington interviewed the K-State student just two days after the sentencing of Nicholas Blaha, the man who ran her over last year.

Blaha was sentenced to twenty months in prison.

When Wilhelm talked to us about being at the sentencing, the first thing she told us was that she feels guilty, "I felt guilty just because I think that he has remorse," she said. "And I don't want to sentence someone to prison if the have remorse, I feel horrible."

Wilhelm said what really matters to her most is that Blaha learns a lesson.

A lesson about the night he nearly killed Wilhelm at the intersection of 12th and Bluemont in Manhattan in April of 2017.

Wilhelm was 21-years-old at the time, the bars had just closed in Aggieville and she was leaving with friends.

Wilhelm told us she doesn't remember anything from that night, but one of her friends testified in court they saw her bending down in the intersection like she was fixing her shoe.

"I was wearing sandals so I could've been fixing my shoe if it was raining outside," Wilhelm said.

Just seconds later Wilhelm's friends watched a truck hit her and then drag her nearly 130 feet down the road.

Wilhelm's injuries ranged from a broken collar bone, lacerated liver, collapsed lung, 9 broken ribs, a broken orbital and a traumatic brain injury.

It wasn't until a few weeks after she was hit that Wilhelm realized what had happened.

"My mom talks about the night that I actually came too and started figuring things out," Wilhelm said. "I called my best friend, the one that was in the crosswalk with me and I said, 'Mariah, did you hear? I was in an accident! I was hit by a truck, did you hear?' You know as if no one knew."

With less than two months of rehab Wilhelm was able to recover.

She took a semester off from K-State, and still to this day struggles with day to day things from her brain injury. 

But for the most part she says she's back to her old self, only now she feels more blessed and grateful.

"They say I was actually underneath the wheel, like I got ran over, so it is very much a God thing," she said. "I shouldn't be here, I attribute the reason I'm still here today to all the prayers that I got, to Gods will."

Wilhelm said she really thinks it's by a miracle she survived, almost like she was saved for a bigger purpose.

That's just one of the reasons why she wanted to share her story.

"I also want people to understand that even though this person did these things to me, I'm not mad at him," Wilhelm said about Blaha. "I don't hold any grudges against him, he made a mistake just like everyone does."

Wilhelm said she is even considering going to visit Blaha in prison soon, just to tell him that she forgives him. 



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