A teacher who was 36 weeks pregnant lost her unborn child after her vehicle was struck head on in a hit-and-run as she drove home from her baby shower, her father said.

Mashayla Harper is still hospitalized but is recovering after the crash Saturday in Mississippi, her father, Maurice Pruitt Sr. said in a Facebook post Friday.

Pruitt said in an earlier Facebook post that his daughter went from “the happiest day” of her life to the intensive care unit of a hospital in a matter of minutes following the crash in Jones County, about 80 miles southeast of Jackson.

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The suspected hit-and-run driver, James Gilbert, 33, was apprehended Saturday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, with additional charges pending, a Jones County sheriff’s official told NBC News. He was released Wednesday after posting 10 percent of a $100,000 bond, according to jail records.

“That idiot hit her head on and left her out there on that road to die,” Pruitt said in a Facebook post. He said the family is grateful to a hunter who happened to be in the area and came to his daughter’s aid. Harper was lying along a roadway when she was found.

Pruitt told NBC affiliate WLBT in Jackson that Harper, an elementary school teacher, was 36 weeks pregnant. Harper was tracking the baby’s growth on her Facebook page.

“The doctor came in and explained Mashayla had severe trauma to her and the baby didn’t make it through the accident,” Pruitt told the station. Harper spent the next 24 hours on life support, he said.

“She was just pointing at her stomach and she kept pointing at her stomach,” Pruitt said. “She couldn’t talk because she had tubes in her. She was aware, but when she woke up she wanted to know where her baby was.”

Pruitt could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

It is unclear if Gilbert has an attorney.


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