BAINBRIDGE -- In 2009, more than a half million people were injured in distracted driving crashes across the United States.
One of those victims was a Bainbridge teacher. Linda Kupiec was walking her dog when she was hit.
Linda is still recoverying from that crash. She says no one should take their eyes off the wheel to text. Linda says in an instant her life changed, forever.
In May of 2009, Linda went out to walk her dog. That's when police say William Miralia was texting and listening to an iPod when he hit Linda. He left the scene of the crash and later turned himself in to police.
Linda was left in a ditch with broken bones and brain damage. She had to re-learn how to walk, talk and do things around the house like cook.
Linda says she knows what she wants to say and do but it is the execution she has a problem with. Linda says her life will never be the same, all because of someone else's actions.
"He didn't change his, he changed mine and that is not right. He was distracted. I wasn't," says Linda.
Linda credits her doctor, Dr. Vinod Sahgal with University Hospitals for helping get her this far in her recovery. But she knows she has a long way to go.
She would love to teach again. But most of all just wants to reconnect with her three children and husband. She feels like she's lost so much time with them.
"I want to be me. I want my brain. I don't want this," says Linda.
William Miralia was charged with aggravated vehicular assault. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail. The Kupiecs also filed a civil lawsuit. It was settled out of court and the details are not being disclosed.
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