Family of teen hit in suspected DUI crash pleads with others to never drive intoxicated
Oct 6, 2023, 12:05 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — Chelsa Best will never forget the call she got from the hospital on Sept. 19.
“They said my daughter got into an accident and she was in the hospital,” she said. “We got there as fast as we could and found out that she had been hit by a drunk driver.”
Her 18-year-old daughter, Maddie, suffered a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss in her left ear and broken bones.
“Police told us the driver was coming off of I-80, crossed four lanes of traffic and hit the center median on 700 East, which sent the car airborne and into my daughter’s driver-side door,” Best said.
Maddie is now recovering at home, waiting for the swelling in her brain to go down so that she can have surgery to repair bones in her ear. Unfortunately, doctors believe it will take months for her to be eligible for surgery.
The teen is a senior at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts. She had just finished an audition and was driving home when she was hit.
“It’s just not fair. This kid is so good and to be hit by somebody so careless, is just heart-wrenching,” Best said.
Maddie’s aunt, Mikelle Best, said her niece is continuing to rest and heal. The young performer is still practicing her lines for the December musical, just in case she can make the performances.
“She is doing everything she can to get back on her feet as quickly as humanly possible. She’s definitely a fighter,” Mikelle Best said.
Maddie’s family hopes her story reminds drivers to never get behind the wheel intoxicated, saying it impacts so many lives unnecessarily.
“Don’t make that poor decision. It’s just a terrible, terrible idea,” Mikelle Best said. “It’s just not worth it at all on any level, so just don’t do it.”
That driver who hit Maddie was charged with misdemeanor DUI and has a pretrial conference scheduled for November.
A GoFundMe* has been set up for Maddie’s unexpected medical bills and the cost of her long road to recovery.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.