A Valley teen thought she was going to die when she was hit by a drunk driver last month. But Thursday she spoke from her hospital bed, saying she is not mad at the drunk driver; she's hopeful that she will one day walk again.
Mindy Markle and her friends were driving on Interstate 17 near Cactus Road when they ran out of gas. Far off to the side of the road, two of the girls got out and started pushing, when a car plowed into them.
“It's kind of hard because sometimes I wake up and I'll remember that my legs are broken,” said Markle as tears ran down her face.
She pulled back the blanket to show her legs. A metal bar extends from her thigh to her ankle. And both are wrapped in bandages.
“This leg was like from a movie,” said Markle. “It was just dangling."
When Markle saw the severity of her injuries that night, she said she believed she was about to die.
“I accepted it,” said Markle. “I accepted this was my time to go.”
Lying on the ground, Mindy had her friend dial her grandmother’s phone number.
“Some guy hit me,” said Markle. "I'm dying. My legs are completely ruined. There's so much blood. I love you grandma. Tell the whole family I love them.”
Police say the driver, Vincent Vaughn, had a blood alcohol level of .231, almost three times above the legal limit. And police say he's had two prior extreme DUI convictions.
“I think people make mistakes and I’m not mad at him,” Markle said. “I really want him to learn that he's ruined my life and my friend's life.”
Markle’s 17-year-old friend Kaylee, who was also hit, is out of the hospital and in rehab.
Markle says this experience has changed her. She is taking it day by day. And she feels somewhat empowered. She is hopeful she will walk again one day.
If you are interested in donating to Mindy Markle’s GoFundMe page, click here.