BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bail was set at $500,000 for Cory Mezo, suspected of a hit-and-run that put a Bellingham mother of three in the ICU.

Emma Briceno was out with friends Saturday night, walking through a crosswalk, when a hit-and-run driver ran a red light and hit two other cars while plowing into her.

The windshield of the car that hit her shows how brutal the impact was. She has critical head, neck and spine injuries and it's too soon to say whether she'll survive.

Briceno is married with three young children. They are all praying she somehow pulls through.

They should be thinking about what are we doing for Thanksgiving. Christmas is just around the corner, said Briceno s friend, Alvin Card.

Police believe Cory Mezo was barhopping Saturday night when he hit Briceno.

They say just before he hit her he was doing donuts in the middle of a busy downtown Bellingham street.

Mezo has a long list of convictions for theft, assault, guns and drugs. He also has four convictions for driving with a suspended license, as police say he was doing Saturday night.

Police say there is only so much that can be done to keep people like that from driving.

How do you stop it? You'd have to lock up everybody without a license. That's not going to happen, jail is too crowded, said Rich Sucee, Bellingham Police Dept.

In the meantime, friends can only hope for Briceno's recovery and wait for justice to be served.

Some fool, in my opinion, hits someone and runs off. Now throw the book at him. Throw away the key, said Card.

Police are awaiting toxicology tests to see if Mezo was drunk.

Emma Briceno is in a medically induced coma while doctors wait for the swelling around her brain to subside.

Read or Share this story: