Single mom of 3 paralyzed after crash on I-215 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Single mom of 3 paralyzed after crash on I-215

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Merri Kirkwood was paralyzed in a crash near the 215 off ramp. (Source: GoFundme) Merri Kirkwood was paralyzed in a crash near the 215 off ramp. (Source: GoFundme)

A single mother of three was paralyzed after she was rear-ended in a crash near the 215 off ramp on April 10.

“She was really scared,” Johanna Kirkwood, the victim’s mother said. “The car was going fast and she was bent over. The truck went up in the air.”

Kirkwood said her daughter Merri Kirkwood, 34, was on her way back home from a concert around 1:00 a.m.

Merri Kirkwood was in a Toyota Tundra. According to police, an 18-year-old driving a Toyota Scion rear-ended Kirkwood causing her Turndra to smash into an RTC bus ahead of her.

A spokesperson for Nevada Highway Patrol said the driver of the scion was suspected of drowsy driving and remained at the scene of the crash.

"That's what he told the troopers," said Johanna Kirkwood. "That he was tired from driving from California." 

FOX5 asked NHP how the agency determines punishment in dire cases. A spokesperson for the department said troopers make the decision based on the circumstances of the case. In this case the at fault driver was not under the influence and was cooperative, qualifying the accident as a misdemeanor crime, the spokesperson said. 

Following the accident, Kirkwood was treated at UMC where she was treated for about a week, then she was later taken to a Valley rehab center.

“Sometimes she tells us to move the tubes so I move it,” Merri's nine-year-old son said. "I help her take out the trash too."

Kirkwood's three children spend most of their time with her after school almost every day.

“All they get to see is her in the bed,” Johanna Kirkwood said.

Kirkwood said insurance is taking care of most of the medical expenses, however the family needs funds to send Merri to California where she can be better treated.

Kirkwood said flying someone with Merri’s condition can cost upwards of $10,000.

To donate to the family's GoFundMe click here.

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