By RICHARD ABDILL
WASHINGTON (Sept. 22, 2010)—It will be at least the weekend before the Maryland Green Party decides whether it will field a replacement candidate for U.S. Senate hopeful Natasha Pettigrew, who died Monday after being hit by an SUV as she rode her bicycle.
Maryland State Police were called shortly after 5:30 a.m. Sunday by someone who had seen the injured Pettigrew along Route 202 in Largo, according to State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.
Within the hour, Christy R. Littleford, 41, called Prince George's County Police to report that after hitting what she thought was an animal, she got home to discover a bicycle jammed beneath the Cadillac Escalade she was driving.
No charges have been filed in the incident, Shipley said, and the investigation is ongoing.
Pettigrew, 30, died Monday around 10:30 p.m. at Prince George's Hospital Center, Shipley said.
Pettigrew's mother, Kenniss Henry, sent a message to the driver in an interview with WJLA-TV news.
"Could you at least, you know, stop, hold her, call 9-1-1, talk to her, say, 'It's going to be all right?'" said Henry.
Pettigrew, who grew up in Cheverly, left law school at the University Of Miami to run for U.S. Senate on the Maryland Green Party ticket, according to her website.
The party will meet later this week to discuss nominating another candidate in Pettigrew's spot, according to Brian Bittner, party co-chairman. It is still uncertain whether the party will field someone at all, he said.
Maryland Board of Elections Deputy Administrator Ross K. Goldstein said a Green Party representative called the office to inquire about registering another candidate for Senate. Any submission must be made by Oct. 4, Goldstein said.
Pettigrew would have run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Mikulski, as well as Republican nominee Eric Wargotz and four third-party or write-in candidates.
A spokeswoman for Mikulski said the senator was "very sorry" at the news of Pettigrew's death.
Wargotz said Pettigrew's loss is "absolutely tragic and our prayers are with her family."
Details of Pettigrew's funeral have not been released, but Henry is planning a memorial for later in the week, according to a Green Party press release.
Capital News Service reporter Jon Aerts contributed to this report.