SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A victim's family is thanking the community for stepping in to stop a charged hit-and-run driver from getting away. The crash happened last Tuesday night on Campbell Avenue near Sunshine.
The woman charged with first degree murder, Elizabeth McKeown, 46, pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.
McKeown is accused of purposefully plowing over Barbara Foster, 57, of Springfield, after what initially appeared to be a fender bender.
Foster's family says in a season where we're all recounting what we're thankful for... they want to do the same thing.
"It's nice to know that there are so many people that took the time and put their own safety at risk to do what they did that night," said Robert Ayers, Foster's brother.
Complete strangers drove into action-- boxing in McKeown with their cars so she could not drive away.
"That just blows my mind that they risked their own safety and stuff and stepped up like that. The kid that did the film and video on his cell phone and stuff that's just crazy to me how far people went out of their way to do what they did that night," Ayers said.
Austyn Adams captured the fender bender on his cell phone, even confronting McKeown in her car.
"I looked in the drivers side and she was just sitting there staring, holding the steering wheel. And she looked over at me and just kind of looked back," said Adams. "She just looked at me like no emotion, no anything, just staring. I told her it is like you just ran a person over, you're going to jail."
Foster leaves behind generations of family-- she was raising her three grand daughters.
"... which now my mother will be responsible for," Robert explained.
Barbara's mom, Pat Ayers, says she is left with a gaping hole-- yet overwhelmed with gratitude for a community who has shown how deeply they care.
"It's nice to know that the good far outweighs the bad. As ugly as it is and everything... the tragedy that it was-- the good far outweighs the bad."
McKeown is jailed without bond. In lieu of flowers, Foster's family is asking that donations be made to the Free Medical Clinic of the Ozarks in Hollister, a charity that was near and dear to Barbara's heart.
That's where Foster was headed the night when she was hit. You can mail in your donation to the Free Medical Clinic, 590 Birch Road, Suite 1A, Hollister, MO 65672. Or call the clinic at 417-334-9940.