Hurricane man stuck with medical bills after DUI driver critically injures him
Jul 10, 2023, 7:07 PM
HURRICANE, Utah — A Hurricane man is recovering after a suspected drunk driver hit him while he was out for a walk. Now, not only is that man dealing with his injuries, but he said he’s also being left with all the medical bills that DUI driver created.
On Monday afternoon, Dominic Sutherland struggled to stand up from a recliner. After nearly dropping his empty water cup, he pushed himself up and grasped onto his walker before he began hopping over to the fridge a few feet away.
Tasks like walking and refilling his water cup have become extreme burdensome as Sutherland heals from suffering a broken tibia, fibula, kneecap and ankle.
“Right here is where they inserted the first metal rod,” he said, pointing to a several-inch-long scar on his right leg.
Not to mention, doctors also just put a stent in his heart because of a torn artery. Though, the two surgeries and severe injuries were all news to him when he awoke from being sedated just over a week ago.
“I was like, ‘What are you talking about? Where am I?’ Like, I was shocked,” he said, of when he learned he was in the hospital after an auto-pedestrian accident.
Sutherland explained that the last thing he remembered was taking a late-night walk near his home in the early hours of June 30 in Hurricane.
“I had heard this car, like, speeding down my neighborhood road, and it looked like it was going about 40 miles per hour,” he recalled.
Sutherland said he stepped onto the road and waved his arms to slow the person down as they drove on the other side of the road from him, because he said they were driving way too fast.
“She, like, had swerved from the other side of the road onto the left side of the road,” he said, of what his brother would later tell him.
The car smashed into Sutherland, hitting his knee first.
“After she hit my knee, I kind of like spun, rolled over the hood, and then flew like a good five, six feet into a U-Haul, and then smashed that and hit the ground,” he said.
After waking up in the hospital, Sutherland found out the driver was suspected of being drunk, is under legal drinking age and didn’t have insurance.
“Which means I’m going to have to pay for all of this, even though I’m the victim,” he said.
He’ll be able to petition the court for restitution, though Sutherland has no idea how long that process will take or how much he’ll be able to recoup.
Sutherland hasn’t even begun to find out what the medical bills will cost. On top of that, he said he’ll be out of work for quite some time, and his dream career of making music — which included two upcoming shows in St. George and Vegas — are now on hold.
He isn’t sure how he’ll continue paying rent and daily expenses in addition to everything else.
A GoFundMe* campaign has been set up to help Sutherland make ends meet.
According to the Hurricane City Police Department, other people in the car ran from the scene and they charged the 20-year-old driver — who they identified as Brianna Boykin — with DUI, negligently operating a vehicle resulting in serious bodily injury, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of alcohol by a minor, driving left of center and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.
While Boykin faces those charges, Sutherland is facing a long recovery and financial burden.
“You should not drive intoxicated, at all,” he said. “It doesn’t only change the person’s life you hit, but it can change your life, too.”