25-Year-Old Woman Hit By Alleged Drunk Driver In Asher Crash Enters Rehab

Thursday, February 4th 2021, 10:43 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

ASHER, Okla. -

A woman police said was hit head-on by an alleged drunk driver in southern Pottawatomie County has left OU Health for Integris’ Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center.

Even the ability to be transferred is great news as Michela Powers, 25, continues to recover.

Just after 6 p.m. on January 21, police said a suspected drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit Powers head-on.

The crash happened near the intersection of US 177 and State Highway 39 in Asher.

The impact was so significant that first responders had to first stretch Powers’ vehicle out before they could rescue her.

Richard Vernon Jackson Jr., 21 of Texas, was arrested and shortly after posted a $4,000 bond. 

Jackson Jr. was later charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, carrying a firearm while under the influence, transporting an open container, and reckless driving. 

Late Thursday evening, News 9 learned those charges may be dismissed and replaced with more serious felony charges.

“I know God’s hands (were) there that night,” said Powers. “When I woke up, I was just so thankful that I didn’t die and I still get more time with my husband and my family, more time to live life.”

An Asher police officer and nurse happened to be nearby when the crash happened and responded immediately.

Court records reveal Jackson Jr. told police at the scene he was reaching for his phone.

Powers said she forgives him.

“We all make mistakes, and it could have been me, I could of fallen asleep but it didn’t happen that way,’ said Powers. “I never thought of him as the bad guy. It’s just what happened, and we have to move on from it.”

Doctors believe it’ll be May before Powers will walk again.

To say her survival is a miracle, family said, is an understatement.

“It’s like an outpouring of love from everyone,” said Powers. “It’s almost overwhelming but it helps to make me stronger, it gives me strength.”

Police are still awaiting Jackson Jr.’s blood toxicology results.