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Mother of pedestrian in police cruiser accident says her daughter has "been through a lot"

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Cop who hit pedestrian may have violated policy

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Natalie Cole, the woman hit by a Cincinnati police cruiser Saturday night on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, can only move her arms and hands.

"She’s been through a lot. I think God just got a little tired and said, ‘Let me sit her down and make her listen, pay attention,’” said Brenda Cole, whose daughter is at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center recovering.

Natalie Cole, 36 of Dayton, Ky. was hit by Cincinnati police officer Orlando Smith as he was responding to an officer-in-need-of-assistance call. Smith did not see her and she was not in a crosswalk, according to investigators.

On Tuesday Brenda Cole told 9 On Your Side's Jason Law her daughter is homeless and addicted to heroin.

"She's asking me what happened," said Brenda Cole. "She doesn't know."

In January, Natalie Cole was cited for failure to use a crosswalk on Linn Street.

Brenda Cole told Law she holds no animosity toward Smith for what happened.

"No, I don't blame them," she said. "No, but I just want to know...I'd like to know what happened."

In a Monday press conference, the Cincinnati Police Department unveiled details of their investigation into the incident. Smith did not see Cole, according to investigators. It was also revealed Smith was moving at speeds in excess of department policies.

RELATED: Cincinnati Police Officer Orlando Smith exceeded speed limit by 20 mph, apparently violating policy

The department's report indicated Smith went more than 45 mph in a 25 mph speed zone. Department policy states that when driving in emergency mode, an officer "will not exceed the posted speed limit by more than 20 mph."

"When you're driving to the scene to back an officer up like that, our officers aren't looking at the speedometer seeing if I'm going 50 (mph) or 51 (mph)," said Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell at Monday's press conference. "The standard for that type of driving behavior is:  What's reasonable? Am I controlling this cruiser?"

The one thing the investigation did not indicate though, was why Natalie Smith stood in the road as Smith's cruiser approached with lights and sirens on.

"She said that herself last night," Brenda Cole said. "I was talking to her and she said, 'Why would I go out in the middle of the street with sirens and lights coming at me. Why would I do that?' I said, 'I have no idea.'"

Smith was placed on paid administrative leave as the department investigates, which is routine police procedure.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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