LOCAL NEWS

1-Year-Old Hospitalized After Alleged DUI Hit-And-Run Crash

Dec 16, 2020, 10:42 PM

Jaxynn Turner, 1, was transported to Primary Children's Hospital after an alleged DUI crash in St. ...

Jaxynn Turner, 1, was transported to Primary Children's Hospital after an alleged DUI crash in St. George. (Turner family)

(Turner family)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hundreds of miles from home in a hospital room with his daughter with an uncertain future is not how Nicholas Turner imagined ending the year.

“It’s just been a really stressful situation on myself, my wife and my kids at home,” Turner said. “But the better she gets, the better we’re doing.”

Turner was at home in St. George with his family the evening of Dec. 5 when his wife noticed some commotion outside their home. A neighbor approached her and asked if she had a 1-year-old daughter.

“That’s when my wife told me, ‘Hey where’s Jaxynn?’ I’m like, ‘She’s just in her room. She’s watching Daniel Tiger. I just saw her.’ She’s like, ‘Go check.’”

Turner searched, but his daughter wasn’t inside. And Turner’s heart sank as he ran outside to where there was an ambulance in the road.

“And that’s when I found out that was Jaxynn,” he said. “I wanted to see her. I wanted to get in the ambulance and see her. I saw that it was her and then clearly I got very emotional because that’s my baby girl.”

He believes his baby girl had somehow slipped out of the garage door unnoticed and ran into the street.

“That’s the only way she could possible get out,” he said. “Because if you don’t pull the door back far enough it doesn’t shut all the way.”

Police said Gregory McClary was riding a motorcycle under the influence when he hit Jaxynn Turner and kept riding. McClary was later arrested and claimed he didn’t know he had hit a child.

“The doctor came in. He listened to her heart and knew that something was not right,” Nicholas Turner said.

Jaxynn Turner was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital the next day with a major concussion, swelling around the lungs and an aneurysm on her heart.

“She has to wait for at least a couple months for the damaged tissue in her heart to scar up. Then they can operate or attempt to operate and hopefully save her heart,” her father said. “If they can’t, she’ll have to have a transplant.”

The hospital is hundreds of miles from home. Nicholas Turner will spend Christmas with his two older daughters in St. George. His wife will stay with Jaxynn Turner at the Salt Lake City hospital.

Her energy is slowly returning, but it’s still nothing compared to what it used to be.

“She’s a wild one. We usually wake up in the morning just hearing her yelling or playing in her room or jumping on her bed. She loves bouncy balls,” Nicholas Turner said. “She still has a long way to go. I mean, just today she was able to sit up by herself. But she can’t stand or walk.”

It’s those small improvements and the outpouring of support from the community that are now carrying the Turners through the holidays and into the new year.

“All I got to say is thank you so much. I couldn’t be more grateful with every ounce of my soul and being,” Turner said. “Thank you.”

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1-Year-Old Hospitalized After Alleged DUI Hit-And-Run Crash