Shanin Path still in coma but showing improvement from May 12 incident

Brian WilkinsonAugust 30, 2012 

Although Shanin Path, 43, the Oakhurst resident found unconscious on the side of the road near Bass Lake May 12, is still in a coma, her mother says she is showing signs of improvement. Rolayne Oswell had her daughter transported from Community Regional Medical Center June 16 to a long-term rehabilitation center in Orange County to be close to her.

Oswell said the physical and occupational therapists work with her every morning and she works with her in the afternoons and her daughter is showing progress every day.

"Although she can't talk, she opens her eyes and can track people in her room," Oswell said. "She looks at me when she hears my voice. She smiles when she is happy and frowns when she's not happy. She seems to be coming out of it slowly ... the doctors keep track of her progress and the staff seems excited about her progress. She is definitely improving."

Oswell said it's going to be a long road to recovery for her daughter, but she (Shanin) is moving forward, not backward.

"We are Christians and we pray a lot and have only positive thoughts for her," Oswell said.

Path was a part-time bartender in Oakhurst at the time of the incident and had previously worked at Tavis Corp. in Mariposa.

She was found on the side of the road shortly after 8:30 p.m. May 12 near the intersection of Bass Lake Road (222) and Road 274.

First reported as a vehicle versus pedestrian accident, her injuries and other evidence were not consistent with being hit by a vehicle or being in a car accident according to the California Highway Patrol after a three-day investigation.

Oswell said the doctors in Fresno told her Shanin was not beaten, but her injuries indicated she was probably thrown or pushed from a moving vehicle and that neither the CHP or sheriff's department have been able to determine what exactly happened to her daughter.

"I think the investigation is at a standstill," Oswell said. "It's very discouraging and frustrating to me ... we just want closure."

The sheriff's office investigation is still ongoing although Sheriff John Anderson is precluded from providing any information about case.

Path was last seen driving her Jeep Wrangler in Ahwahnee around 7 p.m. after playing in a golf tournament at Sierra Meadows Golf Course. She was supposed to meet friends for dinner in Oakhurst, but never showed.

At the time of her discovery, her Jeep was missing and was recovered by investigators five days later from private property nearby.

At the time, Path was separated from her partner of nearly 20 years, Jim Crosby, who said after the incident he would never harm her and has cooperated with law enforcement.

Oswell said she hopes and prays that the person or persons responsible for her daughter's injury will be a good person and come forward.

Oswell said her and husband (Path's step-father) was granted conservatorship of Shanin July 31 by an Orange County Judge.

A family friend and member of their church went through a similar situation when a friend's daughter was hit by a bus while attending college about four years ago said Oswell. The girl was in a comma for seven months but came out of it and has been able to return to school and is now living a pretty normal life.

Oswell said the friend is very encouraging and visits Path once a week, prays for her and plays his guitar.

"Shanin is receiving a lot of positive support and that is important for her recovery," Oswell said. "Its a day to day process ... each person is different in recovering from TBI (traumatic brain injury). We just pray for a miracle that she can make a full recovery. We don't know what God's plan is ... all we can do is hope and pray."

Anyone with information about the incident are asked to call Crime Stoppers, 498-STOP or the Sheriff's Office, (559) 675-7770.

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