Jogger hit by drunk driver continues long recovery

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) -- A Mishawaka, Indiana jogger who was struck by the car of a drunk driver nearly three years ago continues to recover from her injuries and inspire the community.

Immediately after the accident in May of 2014, doctors felt that if Tiffany Brantley survived, she would likely be paralyzed.

“I have 18 rods in my back, four in my pelvis, three in my left leg,” Brantley said.

While she says she is always in pain, she added: “I enjoy life to the fullest. I live each day like it’s my last.”

Brantley joked about having more than a million dollars’ worth of medical work done on her back alone and talked about her goals for the future.

“I would like to be able to, like jump, you know, like jump up. I know that sounds weird,” she said.

Brantley played golf and basketball in high school and says she was in the best shape of her life when the accident occurred.

“My plans went down, down the drain, but God’s plans are coming to fruition,” she said.

Brantley feels her physical fitness and her faith allowed her to survive.

It was in May of 2014 at about 7 a.m. when two people on very different paths crossed paths with tragic results.

Brantley went out for a jog and was run over by the car of someone who had spent all night drinking.

In February of 2015, she just so happened to run into the drunk driver at the bus station.

She introduced herself and gave Quentin Burnley a hug.

“I just encouraged him to continue to make the right choices, and I gave him a hug,” Brantley said. “That's what we should do: to continue to encourage and uplift each other. We all make mistakes.”

Brantley has written a book called “Running for Forgiveness.” This weekend, she’ll address a symposium at the University of Notre Dame for health care professionals who specialize in trauma.

"I always thank God, and I say, 'Who can I bless today? Who can I give my testimony to, a book to, a bracelet to, share my story with or just a word of encouragement to help uplift somebody else?'"

As for Quentin Burnley, records show he was released from prison on January 17 of 2017, but booked into the St. Joseph County Jail on the same day.

In November of 2015, while apparently out on parole, Burnley was arrested for disorderly conduct and sent back to finish his prison sentence. In the meantime, he was sentenced on the misdemeanor county to 180 days in jail.

Burnley did not have insurance and is unable to pay a $6.2 million civil judgement the court awarded to Brantley.

Read the original version of this article at wndu.com.



 
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