TEMPLE (August 13, 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, was transferred Wednesday from Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple to the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation in Dallas.
Less than a week after she was moved out of the hospital’s intensive care unit, she was wheeled out of the emergency room on a stretcher Wednesday for the trip to Dallas.
She said that she’s feeling good and that she’s excited.
She was accompanied Wednesday by her mother, father and stepfather.
"She had very extensive injuries. The orthopedic injuries were so severe that they were life threatening,” Director of Trauma Surgery Dr. Matthew Davis said Wednesday.
"She's been remarkable." She came in with extensive injuries and majority of people with those injuries would not survive,” he said.
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.
"Ultimately you are looking at a fairly lengthy recovery,” he said.
"She's extremely resilient, upbeat young lady and has an excellent support system from family which will help her along the way,” 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 and has since been released from Scott & White.
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.