Woman recovering after serious crash in Douglas County
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) – A woman faces a long road to recovery after she was trapped in her car for 12 hours last weekend when she drifted off the road in Douglas County.
Investigators say Jessica Summers lost control of her car and swerved off the road. Her car struck a tree and rolled down a hill before its battery exploded.
The crash happened on Aug. 8 while Summers was trying to get back home in the Branson area on Missouri Route 76 in Douglas County. Several fire crews, including the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department responded to a 911 call in the middle of the night.
Summers’ fiancé Trevor Oesterreicher said he is glad she is alive.
“And I told her, ‘You’re alive, that’s all that matters,’” said Summers.
Chris Hammett, fire chief of the Eastern Douglas County Volunteer Fire Department, said she is lucky to be alive.
“She was probably there 12 hours. She’s very lucky to be alive, especially being there all that time,” said Hammett.
Summers sustained serious injuries and was sent to Mercy Hospital. She broke several bones, suffered internal bleeding, ruptured organs, and recently lost her leg.
Oesterreicher said he knew something was wrong when Summer’s headlights turned off.
“I turned around and looked for her. When I noticed the headlights weren’t in the rearview mirror, the roads were curvy and hilly. With a cliff off the side, it’s just a bad road,” said Oesterreicher.
Chief Hammett said they had to physically remover her out of her crunched car.
“The doors and everything we’re so crushed that they wouldn’t open and the dashboard was pinned against her legs,” said Hammett. “So, we had to cut her out and roll the dashboard forward to get around.”
One friend, Meghan Rupp, said it meant everything to see her smile again.
“She’s just smiling and opening her gifts, reading her cards. It’s just good to see her smile and look happy,” said Rupp.
But friends and family members say without the help of bystanders, things could have gone worse. Initially, there was no cell phone service to call authorities.
“I asked if he could drive down the road and call 911 for me because we needed help,” said Oesterreicher.
“There was actually a bunch of bystanders there who were willing to help. There was an older couple that walked down there and comforted her when they tried to get her out,” said Rupp.
Rupp said all the help is very appreciated.
“She deserves every bit of this. Every bit of love she can get, she deserves it,” said Rupp.
The family is actively seeking donations to pay for extensive medical care.
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