One year after Elon runner hit by car, teammates confident she will return

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ELON, N.C. -- Molly Offstein's story was once told in meters and miles, but now it's told in movements, moments and milestones.

"It's a bit of a hard day just going back and thinking of everything that's happened to Molly," said her track teammate Emily Smith.

On March 6, 2017, Elon freshman Molly Offstein was running through the intersection of North O'Kelley Avenue and University Drive, when a car struck her head on. The driver was going the speed limit and had a green light, according to police. The speed limit at the time was 55 mph.

Since that crash, a lot has changed.

"Everything we do now, we do for Molly," Smith said. "We do every run, every race, every practice."

Changes for the team, spending an entire year without their teammate, and their friend.

And changes to increase safety. Runners like Smith don't go near that intersection anymore because of what happened, saying it's very busy and dangerous.

North Carolina Department of Transportation dropped the speed limit 5 mph on that stretch and installed pedestrian crossing signs in the area. The intersection is also included in the town's pedestrian master plan to increase safety.

"Knowing the speed limit through that area I was surprised that it didn't take her life by impact," said Lydia Laws, another track teammate.

Molly's accident is a reminder for students of that danger, but her story didn't end that day. After spending weeks in a coma, Molly is recovering at home with her family in Maryland. Once strong enough to run a fast mile, the runner is slowly gaining that strength back.

Her family documents her recovery, posting pictures and videos on Facebook. For them, every movement may as well be a mile, and every moment is a memory of the daughter they can still hold.

"She never gave up and she's never gonna give up," Smith said. "She's gonna keep fighting, keep fighting."