A Washington state newspaper recently checked in with an engaged couple who survived a motorcycle accident six months ago when an impaired truck driver slammed into them. The newspaper found that although the couple made it through the horrific accident, they continue to struggle with severe injuries and depression.
The 46-year-old man and 62-year-old woman were returning from an errand in Benton City, Washington, riding on a rural highway on the evening of the accident. They were three minutes away from home when a driver who was high on methadone slammed his truck into them -- and then backed up and hit them again -- and left them in a ditch. They each lost a leg, among many other injuries.
Now, six months later, they have both been fitted with a prosthetic leg. The woman reportedly suffers anxiety attacks because she is having so much trouble adjusting to her fiberglass leg.
The truck driver is due for sentencing today. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of vehicular assault with aggravating circumstances, which means that he is denying hitting the two on their motorcycle but he also knows that there is enough evidence to convict him.
The prosecutor will reportedly recommend a two-year prison sentence as well as treatment for drug addiction.
The couple told the newspaper that they feel cheated, and that the driver deserves a stiffer penalty. In addition to the depression and adapting to life with their prosthetic legs, the two are wading through piles of medical bills. The man also complains that he is no longer able to work.
This couple's story shows how a motorcycle or motor vehicle accident can have long lasting effects on survivors. These include not only physical injuries, but also emotional and financial trauma. Sometimes, personal injury litigation can secure compensation for some of these expenses and damages, and allow victims to focus on their recovery without the distraction of financial worries.
Source: The News Tribune, "A long road back to normalcy for Prosser couple," Kristin M. Kraemer, Jan. 22, 2012