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      Deputy bounces back after hit and run

      NEWBERRY, S.C. (WACH) - Commencement is about a new beginning and that couldn't be more true for Newberry County Sheriff's deputy Erin Leighton.

      "It's great; it's one of the best days of my life."

      Leighton earned her forensic sciences degree from Newberry College weeks after nearly being killed in the line of duty. Leighton was injured by a hit and run driver two days before Thanksgiving as she was conducting a license checkpoint at the intersection of Highway 121, and Belfast Road.

      "Today, her walking across the stage, when a couple weeks ago she couldn't even walk is absolutely magnificent, said her boss Sheriff Lee Foster.

      Investigators are still looking for the driver who hit Leighton. "People I don't even know praying for me, adds Leighton. It just makes you feel real special that real people care about you, that they don't even know you and the pray for you."

      It's going to take a lot more than a hit-and-run to keep this four year army veteran from serving the people of Newberry County.

      "When do I want to get back to work? Right now."