Johnston Co. DWI crash victim recovering from serious injuries
Posted January 19, 2015
Princeton, N.C. — Katie Bennett is lucky to have survived a crash that left her Dodge Neon crumpled and crushed.
Authorities say the 19-year-old was hit by a drunken driver on U.S. Highway 70 in Princeton in Johnston County Sunday morning.
Five people were injured – Bennett the most seriously.
"She has a broken collarbone, a concussion," Bennett's aunt, Emily Taylor, said Monday. "They had to dig glass out of her mouth when she went to the ER, and she has torn ligaments in her knee."
Taylor says the teen is home from the hospital but still too shaken to speak publicly about the ordeal.
"She was pinned inside the car and had to be cut out of her vehicle," Taylor said.
Bennett is a full-time student who is also working two jobs to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
Taylor says Bennett was on her way to take an exam – as part of training she is undergoing to become an emergency medical technician – when she was hit.
The wreck also shook up Bennett's mother, who works at the Johnston County 911 dispatch center. She got a phone call from coworkers Sunday telling her that her daughter had been in an accident.
"She was able to make it down the street to where the accident was in time and had to watch them cut Katie out of the car," Taylor said. "That's a hard thing for any mom to see."
The driver who hit Bennett – Rodney Goods, 37 – is charged with driving while impaired, running a red light and driving with a revoked license.
Taylor says that, in addition to recovering from the wreck, her niece is worried that she will be left financially responsible for the medical bills that are already piling up. Bennett does not have health insurance and only has liability insurance on her car.
That's why the family, as well as friends, are pitching in to raise money for medical and other expenses.
"We're trying to make sure she can focus on healing physically, and she doesn't have to worry about the financial aspects," Taylor said.