Rebecca Hayden suffered a broken ankle, crushed foot, broken femur, collapsed lung and a small slit in her spleen.
“She has had a couple of surgeries and will have more, but she is recovering,” said her mother, Melissa “Missy” Hayden-Mefford.
Her other daughter, Allison Hayden, was in the front passenger seat and suffered no serious injuries, as was the case with two of their friends in the back seat. All four girls are students at Minford High School. Allison and one of the other girls in the back seat also attend classes at Scioto County Career Technical Center.
Sgt. John Howard of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the chances were slim that Rebecca Hayden would survive such a wreck.
“There was no high speed involved, but she drove right under the truck just in front of the rear wheels. Usually, the momentum of a big tractor-trailer rig like that will crush you,” Howard said. “The intrusion of the rear tires came right at her door. I certainly hope she has a speedy recovery.”
Rescuers used the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool to remove the doors to free Rebecca Hayden. She was trapped in the vehicle for more than an hour.
“The Good Lord was watching over them,” said Hayden-Mefford. “We thank everybody for their prayers for her. We’ve had so many calls. Everybody has been good.”
She said Rebecca was not texting or using her cell phone, which was a rumor she heard after the accident.
“Rumors aside, she just missed that stop sign and drove right under that truck,” she said. “The placement of that sign at the top of the hill can deceive you. I’ve been through there myself.”
Rebecca was on the way to drop off the two students attending the technical center, her mother said.
Howard said one of the girls told him they were listening to music.
He said the truck driver, Walter Gillian, had nearly cleared the intersection and was doing only about 25 mph.
“You can’t stop a rig like that immediately. The car was dragged a short distance,” Howard said.