A Lake Hamilton school teacher was injured in a crash in Saline County mid-November, where police say the driver was under the influence. The victim, Debbie Johnson, says she's not angry but she hopes the driver gets help and that others who see her injuries will think twice before driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"Can you imagine driving down the road and seeing this car come at you," Johnson said, describing the tragic scene playing on repeat in her head these days.
According to state police, Johnson and her grandson were traveling along Highway 70 West outside of Benton, when another driver, Patrick Garmon crossed the center line coming toward her.
"I veered to the right to try and avoid him and I couldn't, so I let him hit me," said Johnson.
The impact crushed the front of Johnson's car. Her grandson, strapped in his car seat, made it out with a few minor injuries, but she and Garmon were airlifted to local hospitals. State troopers found a bottle of liquor in his car.
"If you plan on drinking don't get on the road, my mom and nephew were just innocent," said Amy Burns, Johnson's daughter.
"I'm not angry but he's causing me a lot of pain and discomfort. I hope he learns something from this," said Johnson.
Now Johnson has to learn how to use her upper body to get around since the crash shattered all of the bones in her legs.
"It's uncertain but I'm going to walk again and I'm going to walk in that classroom," Johnson promised.
The longtime educator says the support she's receiving from family and former students is making her even more determined to push through the pain and make the most of this tragic lesson.
Patrick Garmon is still being treated for his injuries but is facing a DUI charge in Saline County.
Johnson's family set up an account to help pay for medical expenses at Arvest Bank called the Debra Johnson Medical Fund.