Thursday, May 6, 2010
critically injured in wreck
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMPA Kemp High School senior is fighting for life in the Intensive Care Unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, following an early-morning one-car accident Sunday.
Catherine Forrest, 17, was critically injured in the 4:30 a.m. wreck, which happened at the intersection of State Highway 274 and Farm-to-Market 3396 near the HamLins apartment complex south of Kemp.
She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Jose Mendoza, who walked away from the accident without a scratch, according to Catherines mother, Helen Forrest.
Speaking by telephone from Parkland Hospital Tuesday morning, Helen Forrest said her daughter was in surgery at that moment to repair broken bones in her right leg and ankle.
Catherine suffered numerous injuries in the accident, with the most serious being a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain) and a broken bone in her neck, just below the skull, which is causing her spinal cord to swell and create temporary (it is hoped) paralysis on her right side, Mrs. Forrest reported.
Catherine remains unconscious, and hospital workers were planning to limit visitation to just the immediate family, because more than 60 visitors Monday was causing her stress, Mrs. Forrest said.
Catherine was on schedule to graduate May 29, and has already taken the oath to become a U.S. Navy sailor, Mrs. Forrest said.
She was supposed to leave for boot camp June 10, Mrs. Forrest added.
Kemp Independent School District superintendent Dr. Peter Running and KHS principal Kurt Schumacher and half the senior class have already been to Parkland to see Catherine, she said.
Mrs. Forrest said Mendoza and Catherine had been drinking at the Afterlife Club in Dallas before returning home.
He (Mendoza) said he fell asleep before making the turn, she said.
Mrs. Forrest said the Afterlife Club appears to be a regular hangout for many KHS students.
I wanted them to take a good look at her when they go, she noted.
Catherine is requiring regular blood transfusions, and Carter BloodCare center created an account for Catherine, who was a regular blood donor, Tuesday morning.
Donations made in Catherine Forrests name will be credited to her account just credit sponsor number SPON024068.
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