Posted on March 2, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Chris

Traumatic Brain Injury Coma Results from DUI: Chris Part One

For Chris that year is a blur, much of her childhood a blur. For her Mom, that year is a terrible ordeal that turned around a simple decision to walk to a party versus accept a ride. A simple decision that put Chris in harms way when an intoxicated driver was allowed to drive while out on bail. An accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury coma.

Accident Results in a Traumatic Brain Injury Coma

Chris was a pedestrian, on a sidewalk when the pickup truck jumped the curb and ran her over. Her Mom begins the story:

She was 15 years old and we were at a party for her grandmother’s birthday and she decided she wanted to walk there. So she was walking, and as she was walking to the party, going across the bridge, a drunk driver jumped the curb behind her and hit her from behind.

One of my friends heard it on a scanner, and just by the description of what they were saying and where the location of the accident, she just put everything together and knew it was Jessica and came to the party to get me. (It was) terrifying, because we didn’t know any details. We didn’t know anything. We didn’t know how bad it was. So we went to the hospital right away and met the doctors there who told us they were working on her.

Chris Tells About What She Knows About her Traumatic Brain Injury Coma

The accident was January of 1998. Now Chris is 29. She can tell her story but she doesn’t get all the details right.

Her Mom is a better historian.

The accident happened shortly before 6:00 p.m. so that whole night I think we spent in the waiting room, just trying to figure what was going on, what was happening. We called our whole family together, everybody was there waiting and they basically had to take her into the emergency room, because her head was severely swollen, it was a closed-head injury. That was the thing they were worried about the most at the time. Everything else, the broken bones could be taken care of after they got her stabilized from the head injury.

Chris was in a traumatic brain injury coma. After three weeks she was transferred to Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Hospital in Milwaukee. She was there another three months until she was transferred to Clearview in Juneau, Wisconsin.


About the man who did this to Chris and caused her traumatic brain injury coma:

I do know that he served eight years of his ten-year sentence, was released early for good behavior and since was arrested twice after that for drunk driving.

I remember sitting at the sentencing and his counselor told him we should feel sorry for him because when he was little he was given a choice to either deal drugs or steal so he chose the better of the two, to deal drugs, which led him through his whole course of his life and how he was so we, we should feel sorry for him. I don’t feel sorry for him. I know he knew exactly what he was doing when he hit Chris, but I, I don’t spend all my waking hours wondering what he’s doing because it doesn’t matter, you know, things happen for a reason and I just think he’ll, he’ll get what he deserves in the end.

We know he was drunk when he hit her and he fled the scene of the accident and when he went home he started drinking alcohol straight out of the bottle because he knew he was going to get caught and it was a matter of him saying, well I wasn’t drunk when I hit her, it’s when I got home and had the drinks.

He was actually out on a bail bond when he hit Chris and caused her traumatic brain injury coma.

For Chris Part Two – Severity of TBI, click here.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447