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Poetry competition honors teen girl critically hurt in hit-and-run

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DENVER -- A poetry competition in Denver Friday night honors an East High School student run over by a hit-and-run driver more than a week ago.

More than 100 people turned out for the 2nd Annual Poetry Slam at Denver Public Schools.

They are words and language that inspires.

Twenty student poets stand on stage to express themselves at the Denver Center for International Studies in the Baker District.

But on Friday, stream of thought honors one of their own--Deyondrah Bridgeman.

“We’re teachers. She is a student, this is terrible,” says one of the event’s organizers Eric Mills of High Tech Early College.

Video shows a car run a red light and hit the student in the crosswalk outside her school on February 27.

A day later, the driver, fifth-grade teacher Erin Jackson, turned herself into police. Ironically, the suspect is a slam poetry champion herself.

But this night was for the girl who is fighting for her life.

Bridgeman's family says the teen's favorite thing is writing poetry.

“We found out she has a passion for poetry and we wanted to honor that passion, in any way we could. We thought this would be a good gesture to her and her family," says Mills.

So these fellow poets dedicate this performance to Bridgeman. Her photo appears on a huge projector screen—as the group shouts her name, ‘Deyondrah!’

They also collect some cash from every spectator.

It's just one dollar each--but they hope it can make a difference helping Bridgeman’s family pay for her mounting medical bills.

“We want to reach out to her, let her know we’re here for support if she ever needs it,” says poet Jahla Brown.

Bridgeman remained in critical condition Friday om the intensive care unit at Denver Health Medical Center. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank in Bridgeman's name to help her family with hospital bills.