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Semi-truck Crash Leaves Great Grandmother Unable to Dance

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Chicago, ILGreat-grandmother Patricia used to dance at least once a week but since a semi-truck crossed into her lane and crashed into her car, she spends every day in pain and discomfort.

On November 30, 2007, Patricia was driving home after finishing work as a delivery driver. During the day, she would drive a van and deliver electrical conductors to different businesses. Then, she would exchange the company van for her 1994 Chevy Cavalier and head out onto Highway I-55, heading south toward home.

Truck CrashOn this particular November afternoon, the roads were clear and dry and, it turns out thankfully, traffic had slowed all vehicles down to about 20 mph. Patricia had already merged onto the highway from Country Lane Road and had found her way into her lane and had already traveled about a quarter mile when an 18-wheel semi-truck changed lanes and struck her small car, propelling it into a brick wall along the side of the highway.

Patricia was injured and dazed and remained in her vehicle. Her co-worker was in the vehicle ahead of her and pulled over to offer assistance. The semi-truck driver who crashed into Patricia came over, looked at the damage and was walking back to his truck to leave when Patricia's coworker insisted he wait for the police.

But when the police arrived, things took a turn for the worse. The state trooper looked at Patricia, asked her no questions, and called an ambulance. Then the trooper went to talk to the driver. The ambulance took Patricia to a local hospital.

"While I was getting a CT scan," Patricia said, "the police came to the hospital and said they had good news and bad news. I said what's the good news and they said the accident report is done. I said what's the bad news and they said I was getting the ticket for improper lane use."

The ticket was dropped once Patricia went to court but she believes the truck driver lied and said it was she who changed lanes, not her, even though she had a witness.

"It totaled my car," she said. "He hit me on the back driver's side door and I hit a brick wall on the right outside of the first lane. "Patricia experienced leg problems, an aching head, neck and back. After x-rays and the CT scan, the hospital put her in a neck brace and sent her home with prescription pain killers. "I could barely walk. I was in pain November to January and even the beginning of February," she said. "I have headaches, a back ache and still my back and neck kind of hurts."

She had 15 chiropractic appointments and stopped since she didn't think they were helping her body at all. She also moved in with her older daughter who was worried about her mom.

"She worries about the way I walk. I look like I am ready to stumble, I am still unsteady," she said. And as for her grandkids and great grandchild, she still plays with them but now has to do it while sitting down. "Before, we use to run through the house."

Patricia estimates she is out of pocket more than $15,000 in lost income and medical expenses, not to mention the cost of her vehicle which was never reimbursed.

"I can't play with the grandkids like I used to. I can't sit up long anymore and I can't dance. I used to dance once a week, I can't dance at all now," she said.

The careless actions of one semi-truck driver can forever change the way a person of any age lives. It doesn't matter how old you are or how active you are, if someone hurts you in an accident, you should be entitled to help.



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