A heart-wrenching incident unfolded as a pizza delivery driver struck a teenage girl on a pedestrian crossing, leaving her severely injured. The mother of Lakyn Stroder has shared the horrifying footage capturing the aftermath of the accident, where her daughter lay in a mangled state, questioning the reality of the situation. The tragic event occurred in Okaloosa Island, Florida, when Lakyn, just a day after celebrating her 15th birthday, was propelled approximately 30 feet into the air by the vehicle, reportedly traveling around 40mph.
The distressing video reveals Lakyn in excruciating pain, having sustained significant injuries, including a grade three liver laceration, a broken left femur and tailbone, as well as bruised lungs and kidneys. Medical professionals initially informed her that there was a 95 percent chance she would never walk or speak again. However, despite enduring internal injuries and a life-altering stroke, Lakyn has remarkably made strides in her recovery.
Her mother, Elaina Jones, arrived at the scene moments after the accident occurred in March of the previous year. She recollects the terrifying experience, with Lakyn’s leg twisted beneath her, and her daughter repeatedly asking, “Momma, is this real, is this real life?”
During the process of being transferred between multiple hospitals, Lakyn suffered a stroke, rendering her unable to walk, speak, read, or write. Nevertheless, a year later, she has regained her ability to walk, passed her driving test, and participates in pageants, instilling hope in her mother for a brighter future.
Elaina, from Magnolia, Arkansas, shares that they were visiting Okaloosa Island in Florida to celebrate Lakyn’s birthday. On the fateful day, while Lakyn and her five friends were heading to the beach, she was the last to reach the other side of the pedestrian crossing when the pizza delivery driver struck her.
Elaina recalls receiving a call from Lakyn’s friend, filled with panic and fear, informing her that Lakyn had been hit by a car. Arriving at the scene just four minutes later, Elaina initially thought it was only her daughter’s leg that was broken. However, Lakyn had sustained several internal injuries.
Following the accident, Lakyn was first taken to HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and later flown to Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola hospital, where she stayed for two weeks. Tragically, during the transfer, she suffered a stroke aboard the plane. An MRI revealed a carotid artery dissection, which occurs due to a tear or separation in the layers of the carotid artery in the neck.
Even a year later, Lakyn continues to face challenges in writing, reading, and speaking. Communicating proves difficult, leading to mental health issues stemming from feelings of being trapped.
Elaina hopes that sharing her daughter’s story will raise awareness among both drivers and pedestrians regarding the importance of being vigilant in their surroundings. She emphasizes the need to teach children that drivers may not always stop, urging them not to assume they won’t be hit if they walk out onto the road. Additionally, Elaina calls for respect and understanding towards individuals with disabilities or physical defects, as they remain cognitively aware and fully comprehend their circumstances.