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“I was looking down at my phone,” says Jill, “when Troy started saying, ‘Oh no. Oh no.’ Immediately after, I felt the impact. A vehicle had pulled out directly in front of us, and Troy had less than seconds to respond. He turned the wheel, and we clipped the front panel of the car at about 55mph. Tori was crying in the back seat. Troy made sure we were both ok and not seriously injured. Then in complete law enforcement mode (Troy is the former Fort Bend County Sheriff), Troy went to check on the occupants of the other vehicle. The driver was still in the car, and the passenger was out. Troy could see open containers in the car.”
The driver of the vehicle refused a sobriety test at the scene. She was arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the county jail later that evening.
“We all seemed ok, and we didn’t want to scare Tori,” continues Jill. “So we refused medical care at the scene. But I also knew my body didn’t feel good. My brother and Troy’s brother arrived, and took us to St. Michael’s Elite Hospital to get checked out. We always use St. Michael’s because we know we’ll be in good hands. The quality of care is extraordinary and professional, and there’s never a wait. Thankfully, we were all fine. Just sore.”
Inside the emergency room at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital, Dr. Shannon Orsak and CEO/CNO Jessica Rivas have seen the damage done by drunk driving over and over again. “These tragedies are heartbreaking and senseless,” says Dr. Orsak. “In this particular instance, there were no fatalities or serious injuries…but that’s not always the case. Innocent families are often forever impacted by someone else’s decision to drink and drive.”
“For me, the emotional part is the hardest,” explains Jill. “I can still smell the air bags and hear the impact. After the accident, Tori and I were waiting in the ditch. She was bawling and shaking in my arms. To this day, Tori still has anxiety about getting in a car. We remind her that God protected us. The bottom line is: The driver of that vehicle should not have been behind the wheel. If you are drinking, have a designated driver or use a ride sharing app like Uber. Let our story be your wake up call.”