Compensation Program Helps DUI Crash Victim Heal
OKLAHOMA CITY - A drunk driver nearly killed an Oklahoma man and the scary accident was all caught on camera. First responders, who just happened to be around the corner, are credited with saving the man’s life.
The drunk driver is now serving prison time for that crash. But his victim has spent the last four years recovering from his injuries with the help of a state and federally funded program.
“I don't really remember the impact. I remember the sound of crunching metal,” said Ryle Lowe.
At nearly 50 miles an hour, Nick Rodriguez crossed several lanes of traffic crashing head on into Ryle Lowe's SUV four years ago.
A surveillance camera on an ice machine in Enid captured the crash.
A first responder crew coincidentally was around the corner returning from another call. They arrived seconds after the crash, removing Lowe who was trapped and starting bleeding out.
“They walk me in to the ER a police officer says we don't think he's going to make it. We are prepping him to take him to OU Med we are going to need you to tell him good bye,” said Ryle’s wife, Courtney Lowe.
Lowe spent a week recovering at OU Medical, his injuries spanned the length of his body.
Insurance and a settlement only covered Lowe's expenses until the end of that year, but his recovery was far from over.
“Everything after that, that's on me and that's where crime victims compensation really helps people out,” said Ryle Lowe.
It’s a program helping victims of violent crimes pay for medical costs and expenses like loss wages. Crime victims compensation is funded through fines and penalties offenders are ordered to pay.
“That was a relief really. It really helped us out,” said Ryle Lowe.
The program has helped this couple like many others in Oklahoma, heal from their tragedy.
Ryle and Courtney are now able to turn the focus on the arrival of their new baby.
“I can say that the biggest feeling now is blessed. I'm glad we went through all this. It made us stronger,” said Courtney Lowe.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week begins Sunday, April 10. The annual event honors victims of crime, and also those who advocate on their behalf.