WINTERS (CBS13) – There are only around 6,000 people in the city of Winters, and just about 1,600 students in the school district, so when not one, but two children are hit by drunk drivers in just one month, you can expect a serious reaction.
A young girl was visiting her mother, who just had open heart surgery, when on the way home a drunk driver slammed into her car.
“I looked over and my daughter was out,” said Michael Hendrix.
That’s the first thing Michael remembers from last Friday when a drunk driver blew through a stop sign and slammed into the side of his car, critically injuring his daughter Marie.
“I took my iPhone flashlight, put it on her stomach, and I can see she is breathing,” said Michael.
In a twist of fate almost too sad to believe, the two were on their way home to Winters from UC Davis Medical Center where Marie’s mother was recovering from complications after open heart surgery. Now mother and daughter are both in the same hospital.
“They’re predicting, right now, from where she’s at it could be anywhere from three months to one year before she’s out of the comas,” said Michael.
The shocking news spread quickly throughout Winters, a small community that had just dealt with a similar accident.
Just 10 days earlier, 5th grader Anthony Labracque was hit by a drunk driver, fracturing his skull. He will be ok, but his grandfather, Jerry Labraque, says it could have been fatal.
“He has headaches and he’s pretty quiet, but he’s doing really well,” said Jerry.
Community members have already raised money for the Labracue family, and now students at Winters High School are dedicating the rest of the school year to Marie who was supposed to celebrate her 18th birthday and graduation in the next two weeks.
“I’ve learned to love the girl to death; her smile, her personality, everything,” said senior Ashley Shaw. “I think if she knew what was going on, she would be overwhelmed.”
At Winters High School, both teachers and students want to make sure everyone is involved in supporting Marie.