BU Freshman Injured In Deadly Crash Nears End Of Rehab Treatment

An incoming Baylor freshman who was critically injured in a one-vehicle crash that left another student and a recent university graduate dead is nearing the end of her treatment at a rehabilitation center in Dallas.

Megan Ritzi was transferred to the rehabilitation facility on Aug. 13. (Photo by Nick Delgado/file)

WACO (August 29, 2014) Incoming Baylor University freshman Megan Taylor Ritzi, 18, of Fort Worth, who was in extremely critical condition after a one-vehicle crash on July 29 that killed a current student and a recent graduate, is nearing the end of her treatment at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas, according to an advisory issued Friday.

Ritzi was transferred to the center on Aug. 13 from Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple, less than week after she was moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Ritzi suffered a fractured pelvis, a knee dislocation and injuries that required doctors to amputate one of her legs below the knee, trauma surgeon Dr. Mike Brennan said.

She underwent a total of 18 hours of surgery after she was stabilized, he said.

Laura Ezinwa Onwudinanti, 21, of Grand Prairie, and John Patrick "Jack" Stewart, 19, of Dallas died on July 29 when the pickup truck in which they, Ritzi and Jacob Travis Hale, 21, of Dallas, were riding, veered off state Highway 7 and slammed into a tree in Falls County near the Limestone County line.

Hale, 21, of Dallas, who authorities said was driving, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Onwudinanti received a bachelor's degree in instrumental music in May and was planning to begin graduate study at the University of Michigan in the fall.

Stewart was a junior instrumental studies major and Hale is a senior instrumental music major, Baylor said.

The eastbound pickup in which the four students were riding evidently drifted onto the shoulder and the driver over-corrected, which caused the truck to veer off the highway and hit the tree, authorities said.

The four were on their way to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., to perform at The International Clarinet Association meeting.


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